Chargers should start Bennett at tailback

September, 25, 2009
9/25/09
7:15
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson

During my AFC West chat on Thursday, a reader said he thought the Chargers should use Michael Bennett as the primary tailback if LaDainian Tomlinson couldn’t play against Miami on Sunday. I agreed.

Let’s see it. Tomlinson was ruled out of his second straight game with an ankle injury. I do think Bennett should be the lead back.

Don’t get me wrong, I think San Diego should use Darren Sproles. But he should be used in the role that is best suited for him. But Sproles has to be used the right way. He is a change of pace back, not a primary ball carrier.

He's not as effective when he’s the lead back. He’s done it twice, last year in Pittsburgh in the playoffs, and last week against Baltimore. It didn’t work.

The Chargers should give Bennett the ball 15-18 times and see what he can do, while sprinkling Sproles in the rushing and receiving game to keep Miami off balance. We know the other way doesn’t work. Let’s see what will happen if Bennett is the starter.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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