Should Sproles Be the Starter?

Lee TawilContributor ISeptember 15, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 14:  Darren Sproles #43 of the San Diego Chargers celebrates after he scored the game-winning touchdown on a 5-yard run in the fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders on September 14, 2009 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

As I watched the final game on the week one schedule, one thing became apparent to me: Darren Sproles should be the starting running back in San Diego. It was the second time in San Diego’s last two victories that Darren Sproles single-handedly changed the outcome of the game. I understand what LT has done for the Chargers, and I totally respect his accomplishments. When it comes down to it, though, the NFL is a business, and sometimes you have to make the smart choice, not the morally correct choice.

I am not saying that the Chargers should totally stop giving LT the ball, I just feel that Sproles should get the bulk of the touches. When Sproles has the ball in his hands, he runs like the lightning on the side of the Chargers helmet. He is a difference maker, and he is clearly the better player right now.

When all is said and done, and both guys retire, there is no doubt that LT will go down as the better back. But right now if the Chargers want to maximize their potential, Sproles is the guy that will help them do that. If the Chargers feel like they are keeping Sproles fresh by giving him fewer touches, they are using terrible logic. Because Sproles is a threat to score on any given play, the amount of touches that he receives should be increased. They are essentially limiting their scoring chances by giving Sproles limited touches.

To tell one of the all-time great running backs that he is being relegated to the number two spot, is definitely a tough task to carry out. However, if you realize that it can take you to the next level as a football team, the task becomes a little easier. The Chargers have enough pieces to do a lot of damage in this league right now. They need to seize that opportunity by using their best players at each position, and at this moment in time, that would mean that Darren Sproles should be the starting running back over LaDainian Tomlinson.