During last year's abbreviated offseason, Ryan Mathews was vilified by media and fans alike after failing his conditioning test.
Mathews has been working extra hard this offseason in an effort to shed his reputation as an aloof, injury-prone player.
In an interview with Chris & Ben on XTRA SPORTS 1360, Mathews said:
"You can’t want to be the star running back and come into camp and not be able to do the conditioning test, and that was my main thing is how my fans saw me and my team saw me. I don’t want to feel like that again. I had a great offseason and great OTAs and minicamp, so I'm about to blow it away. It is going to be fun.”
Mathews' statement in the interview might not be enough to prove that he's ready to take the next step as an NFL player. However, his actions during the offseason should show that he is ready to become a top running back in the NFL.
According to the Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union Tribune, Mathews has been performing very difficult workouts while keeping a football held against his body.
Mathews has been holding a football while working out because of his propensity to fumble. Fans will have to wait and see if Mathews' offseason work will translate to in-game action, but it is nice to see that he is working hard on improving his faults.