With the uncharacteristic recent performance and injuries from LaDainian Tomlinson, as well as his fall from greatness possibly looming, some of the more optimistic Charger fans have actually suggested that Darren Sproles could be the next great running back, or the next LT.
Some have even suggested that Darren Sproles, not LaDainian Tomlinson, is the best running back on the team.
That is a bit of a knee slapper there. In reality Sproles doesn't even compare to Tomlinson in his prime let alone Tomlinson at 30.
Sproles is not capable of being an every down back and if anything he compares to the likes of Reggie Bush, Darren McFadden and Leon Wahington.
Aside from a little speed and agility Sproles has nothing on Tomlinson, who is bigger, better, and stronger than the small fry running back.
In order to be an every-down back, the running back not only needs to be able to catch the ball and run both inside and outside the tackles. But one needs to be able to pass block and help protect his qaurterback.
Though this is a skill often over-looked in running backs Tomlinson is an effective blocker. Darren Sproiles on the other hand, listed at 5'6'' 185 not so much.
Then there's power running which Sproles lacks. Sure, on one hand you can't tackle what you can't catch. But what about running in between the tackles? Sproles is likely to be stopped dead in his tracks when met by a defender.
Tomlinson, he not only can run around you but through you. When he's met at the line of scrimmage, he will lower a shoulder and try to go through you. He also often fights for extra yardage and almost always is falling forward for extra real estate.
Then there's versatility. Sure Sproiles can hurt you on special teams, but that has nothing to do with being a better running back. Have you ever seen Darren Sproles run throw and recieve a touchdown in one game?...I didn't think so.
Which ever way you look at it, LaDainian Tomlinson not Darren Sproles is the best running back the Chargers have.