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mesaSteeler
01-06-2009, 10:01 PM
Breaking down the Chargers' RB situation
http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcwest/0-3-1284/Breaking-down-the-Chargers--RB-situation.html
January 5, 2009 6:03 PM

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Here is a look at San Diego's three key running backs not named LaDainian Tomlinson as the team heads to Pittsburgh on Sunday for the Chargers' AFC divisional round playoff game at Pittsburgh.

The Chargers will likely have to rely on their other running backs with Tomlinson very questionable with a groin injury. Tomlinson didn't play in the second half against the Colts and his status is in doubt to play at Pittsburgh. He said Monday that he will try to, at least, warm up Sunday in an attempt to play. Still, he conceded that he could even be ruled out before the Chargers fly to Pittsburgh.

Here is a look at the other running backs San Diego may have to rely on:

Darren Sproles
Sproles

He is the toast of the NFL after he starred in Tomlinson's absence against the Colts. Sproles won the game in overtime with a 22-yard touchdown run. He had 105 yards rushing. The 5-foot-6, 181-pound Sproles had 328 all-purpose yards.

He'll start if Tomlinson can't play. The potential problem is that because of his lack of size, Sproles could wear down. Sproles is best used as a change-of-pace back. Going against Pittsburgh's terrific run defense (it was ranked second in the NFL against the run) will be a challenge for Sproles. If he has to run the ball 20-plus times, his effectiveness could be compromised.

If Sproles has another big game, it will assist his wallet. He is a free agent this offseason and his ability to make big plays on offense and in the return game is making him very attractive on the open market. He is making it difficult on the Chargers to let him test the waters.
Hester

Jacob Hester

The rookie fullback can also play tailback. The Chargers may want to use the LSU product some, especially in short-yardage situations. He is a power runner who is very rugged.

Against Pittsburgh's big, physical defensive front, the Chargers will need some power running. Hester is their best chance. He'll need to come through with some big runs.

Michael Bennett
Bennett

He is a key because he will keep Sproles fresh if Tomlinson can't play. Bennett was claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay in November because the Chargers are interested in him as Tomlinson's' backup if Sproles leaves.

But he will likely be needed against Pittsburgh as he was against the Colts. He came up with some key late runs, including a 14-yarder for the Chargers as he spelled Sproles. This is going to be a physical game for San Diego's running backs. The Chargers will need Bennett to make a difference at different points in the game.

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Scouts Inc. on ... Sproles vs. Steelers
http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth/0-1-449/Scouts-Inc--on-----Sproles-vs--Steelers.html
January 6, 2009 12:00 PM

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
Sproles

In this week's visit to the film room, we check in with Scouts Inc. to get their take on Sunday's matchup pitting San Diego Chargers tailback Darren Sproles against the top-rated defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sproles looks to be the starter this week in place of the injured LaDainian Tomlinson.

Here is comprehensive film analysis of Sproles from Scouts Inc.'s Keith Kidd:

The Steelers have the best defense in the NFL. However, with the uncertainty of running back LaDainian Tomlinson due to a groin injury, the Chargers will rely even more on running back Darren Sproles. Sproles is extremely quick with excellent speed and elusiveness. He has a low center of gravity, good vision, excellent balance who does his best work in open space. He is tough to find in a crowd behind his blockers due to his size, and he is a decisive cutter who gets vertical quickly. Can Sproles expose creases within Pittsburgh's defense due to his excellent burst through the hole?

The key to stopping Sproles for the Steelers' defense will be its ability to control the edges, get off blocks, tackle well in open space and play under control while maintaining gap discipline and leverage within its 3-4 defenses.

On top of that, without a healthy LT, the Steelers can focus even more on stopping Sproles, which gives them the edge in this matchup on Sunday.

bradness113
01-07-2009, 01:40 AM
doesnt matter whos running.
Its not gunna happen.

Polamalu43
01-07-2009, 01:42 AM
Brig on whoever they got on there backfield, we are ready for anything !!!

Steelman16
01-07-2009, 01:55 AM
Nope. Harrison's gonna break his 5'6" frame like a #2 HB pencil.

:chuckle:

markymarc
01-07-2009, 07:45 AM
I don't care who lines up at RB, the defense will be ready. Seems pretty simple to me, shut down their running game and put the game on Rivers. I like our chances.

BIGBENFASTWILLIE
01-07-2009, 08:12 AM
I think sproles is a great athlete and he did a nice job against the Colts ever pressing defense..

But I do not see a 5'6'' 181 running back racking up 100 yards on the steelers defense

HometownGal
01-07-2009, 08:16 AM
I don't care who lines up at RB, the defense will be ready. Seems pretty simple to me, shut down their running game and put the game on Rivers. I like our chances.

Me too. :applaudit:

Our D will be ready for whatever the Bolts try to throw at them. I have no doubt about that. :tt02:

The ONLY thing that concerns me about Sproles is his effectiveness on returns, but our ST's have been playing pretty well all season so I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt here on being able to contain Sproles.

steelpride12
01-07-2009, 08:18 AM
We prepare for the best of the best running backs and shut them down every week. Im like our chances against the sneaky Sproles.
Sure Sproles has a good return game, but compared to last season our ST and kick coverage has been stellar and i expect a big day from the defense and ST.

markymarc
01-07-2009, 08:49 AM
The ONLY thing that concerns me about Sproles is his effectiveness on returns, but our ST's have been playing pretty well all season so I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt here on being able to contain Sproles.

The return game is the only thing that concerns me with Sproles on Sunday. Hopefully our coverage teams will be up to the challenge and shut him down.