One of the biggest questions floating around out there regarding the early stages of this offseason is, “Why did we sign Donald Brown?” Clearly GM Tom Telesco has a soft spot for him, but still….why? There wasn’t a WR out there to complement Keenan Allen? Didn’t Ryan  Mathews have his best year last year? Did Danny Woodhead not give us that extra spark and change-of-pace guy we haven’t had since Darren Sproles left?

Ryan is heading into a contract year and, as we all know, has been plagued with injuries dating back to Fresno St. What I saw out of Mathews coming out of college was a shifty and strong RB; one that is not afraid to take on hits. As many NFL teams turn to the RB-by-committee approach, San Diego was used to focusing on one guy.

Thus far his career in San Diego has been grinding and exhausting as a fan (especially FF players drafting him). However, what I have seen is a player who continues to fight and prove people wrong. Sure, we all would have loved for him to come out of the gates having seasons like the one last year, but “You win some, you lose some.” With his injuries, lack of aggression in the redzone and inability to punch through holes, a ton of pressure was placed on Philip. Now with his resurgence, he looks like the back we all knew he could be, and Philip looks like the old Philip we all love.

Maybe it was the criticism that motivated Mathews. Every person is different. What motivates one person might not work with someone else. Perhaps he needed to hear the negative comments, the sarcasm, name calling…etc. to motivate himself to the next level. All I know is that he didn’t “hear” those comments. As Woody Hayes once said, “You can’t let praise or criticisms get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” That negativity wouldn’t have worked for me…I would have dug a hole and stayed there.

So is this Brown signing another way to motivate Ryan? Maybe. But I think being in the last year of his contract and the success he had last year should be all he needs to continue to thrive. However……with a history of injuries, the possibility of leaving the Chargers after this year and only one recent successful year, bringing in Donald to fill in on an “if-needed” basis was an intelligent move. Despite Brown not having a stat-filled, overly productive career up to this point, look at what he did when over-paid Trent Richardson struggled mightily?




The Big White Kahuna.


6 Responses to Motivation is key for Mathews

  • sandy peisner says:

    I think signing Brown was good. If Mathews gets injured, which has been the case, Brown can step in. He can run catch and block.Brown is another weapon

    • Booga Peters
      BoogaP says:

      I loved the Brown signing. It makes great sense for him to come and help avoid what happened in the playoff game versus Denver. I think Telesco learned his lesson in that game when Mathews went down.

  • Jim Kirkendall says:

    I would have preferred the chargers sign Steve Smith. He has more left in his tank and Keenan Allen and whichever receiver we take in the draft this year could use his mentorship. Donald Brown will be 28 1/2 at the start of the 2015 season…is that really the best option if we even move on from Matthews after the season? We could get a promising rb in the 5th round in this draft whom could fill in for Matthews should he get hurt and that player could give the Chargers an option in 2015 also.

  • OPBolt says:

    Is a viable running game a necessity in McCoy’s offense? – yes
    When healthy, has Mathews shown himself to be a 1K yard back? – yes
    Does history show you need two between-the-tackles RBs to cover injuries over a 16-20 game season? – yes
    Was swapping out Ronnie Brown for Donald Brown an upgrade? – yes
    Bottom line – Chargers have a significantly more sustainable and productive running and play action game than last year.

    Future – Assuming Mathews has another good season, with minimal injuries, i think he will be resigned by the Chargers before FA. This year has shown a significantly decreased $ value for RBs, so I think he will be inclined to stay with the Chargers. And I think they would be inclined to stay with him for 2-3 years.

  • Jamie Hoyle says:

    The Brown signing was a smart one because the Chargers still do not trust Mathews with the ball in the red zone. Brown is a tough power back who doesn’t fumble, so he’s really the perfect compliment to Mathews. Also, there has been some chatter about Mathews potentially holding out and with his history it only makes sense to prepare for the likelihood that he’ll get hurt at some point.

    Brown may be 28 1/2 at the start of the season, but he’s never been the guy, so he’s a fresh 28 1/2. It’s not like he’s been carrying the ball 350 times per year for the last seven years. He’s a major upgrade over Ronnie Brown, he’ll give the Chargers an option other than the diminutive Danny Woodhead when the McCoy goes out of his way to avoid giving the ball to Mathews inside the five.

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