I love Branden Oliver. I think he's a very talented, if undersized RB who plays his heart out for his team. He also happened to wear the number #43. Because of that, he drew comparisons - wrong comparisons - to another ex Chargers RB, Darren Sproles. Sproles stands at 5'6 - so undersized for the NFL that scouts allegedly laughed at him when the measurement was announced.
The comparison was always tenuous - sure, Sproles and Oliver are both small backs who wore #43 for the Chargers, but the similarities end there. Sproles is an unbelievable athlete, blessed with ridiculous quickness and agility. Oliver doesn't have that athleticism - you can count the number of people who do on one hand - but Oliver resembles more of a 'power' back. Sproles avoids tackles, Oliver bursts through them.
Those comparisons should be no more - because tonight the team announced that Branden Oliver has officially changed his jersey number.
RB @BoBelieves will now wear No. 32, not the No. 43 he wore previously.— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) April 13, 2017
Is this because Oliver wants to end the comparisons to Darren Sproles and just focus on being Branden Oliver? Possibly. It's the offseason, and it's fun to speculate. It's also fun to note that the Chargers have given Eric Weddle's old number to a backup RB who may not make it onto the 53 man roster. That likely doesn't mean anything, but it does now make me want to see Eric Weddle play some RB.
The real question here is: Haven't you always thought that Branden Oliver's playstyle always reminded you a little bit of an offensive Eric Weddle? I know I sure have.