Chargers' Running Situation: Should Tolbert be Given a REAL Shot?

Paxton TaylorContributor IDecember 8, 2009

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 15:  Runningback LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the San DIego Chargers runs for a gain during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles on November 15, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. Chargers won 31-23. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Ladainian Tomlinson's failure to contribute during the playoffs and injuries during the early half of the past couple seasons have altered his ability to dominate the way he used to. The Chargers obtain an offensive line that is 2nd best in the league behind the Tennessee Titans. Even with that, our backs are still struggling to get through the gaps; thus sticking us in the 29th rank in the overall running game.

What direction should we take our running game?


LT still does his work well in goal line situations, but when we need him for long, lengthy drives, he just kind of runs a couple of times then puts Philip Rivers in position to go for a 3rd down conversion. Lately he has been averaging 3.2-4 yards per carry, which is better than he was doing when he was running before full recover from injury. A very diversely placed set of good plays made by him leave us hopeful Charger fans thinking he is on his way to returning to his previous state. Is he worth the chance, or should we move on?


If the Chargers were to split apart from LT, there would be but 3 REALISTIC options to replace him (hester doesn't count, in fact we need to get rid of him immediately). Option 1. Darren Sproles; Option 2. Mike Tolbert.; Option 3. Draft


Darren Sproles was first on our depth chart at the beginning of the season after his amazing playoff performance the previous year; however, after being creamed by the Ravens early on, and the quality of his attempts thus far this season are arguing against his every-down-back capabilities. He has all the speed he needs, and is small and agile, but about elusive enough to evade a tackle from a fruit fly. He is one hell of a kick/punt returner, and that is where he deserves to be.


Mike Tolbert was not that amazing last year (his rookie season). He had a 2.8 YPC for the season. Granted, that is not much worse than our current starter is. This year Tolbert has 14 carries for 88 yards and a touchdown. Tolbert has all of the features to be a back just like Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jaguars. I think that given a shot, Tolbert would show that he is worthy to carry the ball more. He is a fullback though, so it will probably never happen :(


That leaves us to Draft someone. I think we need someone who is balanced in speed and strength. Our line does enough work for any back to break some tackles here and there, but when that happens he needs to be able to break off and go for the long run. LT was once able to, but his injuries have him slowed down. I think a new back would be the best option. We need to get someone fresh on our star-studded team before the rest of the team is old as well. My pick would be Evan Royster; but someone else told me that a good running back pick for speed and strength would be Tim Tebow (shocker right?). I laughed at first, but the more I think about it, the more it seems to make sense.


What are your views on this situation? More imprtantly, what do you think of the Tebow idea? I want some feedback on that.