First off, let me admit I love most of the work from ProFootballFocus even though it might be skewed or unbiased data. Can't help it, I'm simply a sucker for statistics. An article of theirs is also the basis for this post:
As the Chargers are looking to fill the RB2 spot behind Mathews this article made me think about the possibilities.
It was reported they brought in Jackie Battle for a visit and had another 3 mysterious/unknown veteran RBs in their sight - but it has yet to materialize into a contract with either of these four FAs. This could be a sign of many things:
- They aren't overly excited about signing one of those.
- They have given offers to one or more of these RBs but those players are taking their time making a decision, maybe even until after the draft (though we probably would have heard about such offers).
- They are confident in letting McClain take the leftover carries - Norv has admitted that this is still an option.
- They are looking towards the draft.
The problems with Mathews right now seems to be his durability, fumbling (which I think will be fixed this season) and pass protection - so it's logical to assume that the RB2 spot will be filled by someone who helps in pass protection and gives Mathews a breather by taking some of his touches. For me that kind of excludes the draft as an option since I have trouble believing they will find a rookie who's better at pass protection than Mathews.
This is where the article from ProFootballFocus gave me something to think about. When the rumours about Battle's visit surfaced I wasn't overly excited and hoped we would strike a deal with one of the other 3 mysterious guys even though I had no idea who they were (guess that says a lot about my excitement). But according to PFF's data Battle was the 7th highest rated pass blocker at RB last season - which would make me believe he would do a (very?) good job of pass protecting for Philip and I could therefore in return accept that he and McClain combined to take the leftover touches.
Another intriguing option for me is Clinton Portis. I known the dude is old and injury prone but hear me out: he's had a year away from football to heal his body, wouldn't need to take as many touches as he's normally done and most importantly; according to PFF he was the best pass blocking RB in the league in 2008, 2009 and 2010!
How you like them apples?