The San Diego Chargers thought so highly of Ryan Mathews that they moved up 16 spots in the NFL Draft to take him 12th overall. Talk about a tough situation to come into. Not only will there be high expectations because he’s a top 15 pick, but Mathews is also the running back that will have to fill the enormous shoes of a future Hall-Of-Famer who is now playing for the New York Jets.
The Chargers still have Darren Sproles in their backfield, but with his smallish frame, the Bolts will need somebody who can run between the tackles and be the workhorse. Ryan Mathews can be that guy. Norv Turner and the Chargers like to throw the football and the Chargers are still Philip Rivers’ team, but you don’t move up 16 spots to draft a Hall-Of-Famer’s replacement to not use him. By the end of the year, I would be shocked if Ryan Mathews wasn’t in the conversation for Offensive Rookie of the Year in the NFL.
Ryan Mathews joined XX Sports Radio in San Diego to talk about how training camp has gone so far, why he brings candy to some of his teammates, how excited he is to play against another team in the first preseason game, why he almost threw up at a practice this offseason, how he got the new nickname Bam Bam, and what goals he has set for himself in his rookie season.
On how excited he is for the first preseason game:
“I can’t wait. It’s gonna be intense. I try not to think about it right now because I start getting butterflies and start getting antsy. It’s gonna be fun. I think my nerves are gonna be running a little bit and I almost threw up last time when I was out there on the field with 5,000 fans and there’s gonna be way more than what there was. Its gonna be crazy and it’s gonna be a fun site.”
On staying after practice to work on the jugs machine:
“Yeah. It got kinda rusty. I know I have good hands and I know I can catch the ball well, but just over that little break we had I didn’t do too much catching. I did a good amount of lifting and trying to keep in shape. I kinda left the football part out of it. It’s just something I gotta work on. Got a little rusty and from here on to the first game, I’m gonna try and catch, after every practice, 50-75 balls.”
On how he got the nickname Bam Bam:
“Yeah, you know me and Cam Thomas were sitting around one day and just goofing around and someone called him Baby Godzilla. So we were just messing around and everything and he was like we need to come up with something for you and he was like we should just call you Bam Bam. I was like alright. Whatever. Bam Bam is cool.”
On his goals for the season:
“I set a couple of them. I don’t like to say them, but I think the one big goal is to get to the Super Bowl. As long as we’re winning and being successful as a team my goals will come along the way. It’s team first and then when the team is said and done my goals will be right there too. I’ve got some good goals to shoot for too. LT, he set up a lot of good goals to try and get to and break and stuff. It’s gonna be a fun time. I’ve got a good group of lineman up there and it’s gonna be great.”