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Thursday, February 21, 2013
New San Diego leaders support Mathews

By Bill Williamson

INDIANAPOLIS -- There is a new leadership in San Diego and it means a clean slate for Ryan Mathews.

Mathews
Many fans have wondered if the oft-injured, first-round pick in 2010 would be on his way out with the new regime coming in. General manager Tom Telesco closed that door Thursday. Mathews is very much in the Chargers' plans as they move forward.

“He is really talented, a really good back,” Telesco said. “He's got size, and he runs well, but he's had some injuries, too. I think he can be a bell-cow back, but he needs to prove that on the field by staying healthy. I think he's going to have a chance to do that. All the talent is there.”

Mathews has had durability issues dating back to his time at Fresno State. Last season, despite rushing for 707 yards on 184 carries, he broke each collarbone. Following the 2011 season, Mathews made the Pro Bowl.

Even though the Charges believe Mathews can succeed, they do plan to add another back.

"Would we like a complement back?,” Telesco asked. “There's no doubt about it. I'm a big believer in two backs. These guys took a lot of punishment during the year. To have two backs back there -- actually, you'd like three, but you'd like to have two backs who you can lean on so Ryan doesn't have to take the bulk of the carries, week in and week out. Who that complement is and his style. It doesn't really (matter to me) what kind of style it is. As long as he can come in and play. We'd like a complement with him, but I think Ryan can do it as the (top) back."