Ryan Mathews is clearly a talented pass catching running back. Despite injuries and lack of opportunities Mathews has had two 30+ reception seasons. In 2011 Mathews had 50 receptions and 455 yards. Mathews is a good open field runner despite some people's claims about his lack of vision. Mathews has talented hands and coming out of the backfield is a dangerous threat.
However Norv didn't play him on passing downs due to his ineptitude at picking up blitzers. Mathews has continually looked lost in pass blocking through his 3 years in the league. He routinely whiffs and completely misses blockers. I don't know whether this is due to lack of knowledge or whether he can't pass block.
My real question hear is and I know it may sound stupid why don't we just send Mathews out on routes. What's the need to keep him in on pass blocking if he continually fails at it. Why can't we have him in the backfield and send him out on routes on passing downs? I understand that it will leave Rivers with less protections but can't we have John Philips in as a blocking TE. Personally I would rather Mathews had the ball in his hands than our second string TE.
If this is a ridiculous idea please explain to me why.