Ryan Mathews’ talent has never been questioned, however, his work ethic off the field has been. Following his rookie season, Mathews had to deal with his first offseason training on his own; this, accompanied with the lockout, did not bode well for him. He showed up to camp out of shape and failed the team’s conditioning test.
Failing the conditioning test is something that has been driving Mathews this offseason. He has devoted himself to making sure that he is one of the most in-shape players on the Chargers roster. He has transformed his body, adding muscle so that he can bounce off tackles as well as working on his breakaway speed, which is something that he has lacked so far in this two-year career.
During the offseason, he has worked on his ball security, which has been something that has plagued him during his short time in the NFL. Last year, Mathews fumbled the ball five times which was one more than he did his rookie year.
During his workouts this offseason, Mathews carries a football with him held tightly against his body. The Ryan Mathews who will take the field for the Chargers in 2012 will be a better version of the one we saw in 2011, and that should make Charger fans very happy.