FanPost

Sproles is underused

With only 61 carries, and 29 catches in 2008, Darren Sproles accumulated 672 yards from scrimmage [7.5 yards per touch], while LT had 292 carries, and 52 catches totaling 1536 scrimmage yards [4.5 yards per touch]. Even with kick and punt return duties, for the entire season Sproles accumulated only 165 touches. However, recent quotes of Norv Turner indicate he plans on giving LT 320+ carries in 2009, totalling a very likely 370 touches for a 30 year old back. This will leave Sproles with a similar looking ~90 touches. Looking at many of the two-back systems in the league, the more balanced the touches are, the more effective each RB generally becomes. I would like to see the Chargers implement more of a split back system. Yes LT will carry the load, but we need to see more from Sproles. Lets compare the averages (yards from scrimmage using rush attempts + receptions):

    2008
  • Sproles:  Average of 5.6 touches per game for 7.5 yards per touch
  • LT:  Average 21.5 touches per game for 4.5 yards per touch
    Career
  • Sproles:  Average 3.2 touches per game for 6.3 yards per touch
  • LT:  Average 24.9 touches per game for 4.9 yards per touch

I believe if you balance the amount of touches each RB gets, they would both increase their average yards per touch. I would like to see Sproles get 160 carries on the ground (8-10 per game) to go along ~50 catches. This gives LT about (17-20 per game) and ~30 catches. Sproles has much more big play potential, but has only been given 10+ carries per game during the regular season twice in his entire carer:

  • 2007 Week 15 vs Detroit [25 rush for 122 yards, 2 TD]
  • 2008 Week 17 vs Denver [14 rush for 115 yards, TD]

Given the game breaking ability of a back like Sproles, we will definitely want to preserve him for KR/PR, but there other very effective returners touching the ball at least 7-8 times per game, and still being very productive in the return game (scrimmage yards only):

  • 2008 ATL RB, Jerious Norwood [Average 8.2 touches per game for 6.3 yards per touch]
  • 2008 NYJ RB, Leon Washington [Average 7.7 touches per game for 6.5 yards per touch]
  • 2008 NO RB, Pierre Thomas [Average 10.7 touches per game for 5.7 yards per touch]

Bottom line, lets see the little guy. You paid him enough, and it also allows LT to extend his career. We know the split back system works extremely well, and we are not utilizing Sproles nearly enough. Gartrell may be helpful getting the tough yards between the tackles, but I think 2009 is the year for Sproles. It's quite possible though by allowing him to get enough touches, the Chargers in no way could sign him to a long term contract. They would almost be guaranteed to lose either LT or Sproles if Sproles gets the chance on the field he deserves.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Bolts From The Blue community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bolts From The Blue editors or SB Nation.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bolts From The Blue

You must be a member of Bolts From The Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bolts From The Blue. You should read them.

Join Bolts From The Blue

You must be a member of Bolts From The Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bolts From The Blue. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker