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Chargers RB Ryan Matthews “Ready To Take That Next Step” In 2012

Speaking to the Union-Tribune San Diego, Chargers head coach Norv Turner said that he thinks running back Ryan Mathews is “ready to take that next step” in 2012.

“That means, to me, the production goes way up, and he’s more of the guy that is on the field most of the time,” Turner said. “I think he’s grown a lot in terms of understanding his responsibility when the ball is in his hand.” Turner also said he believes Mathews is capable of leading the league in rushing someday.

RBs coach Ollie Wilson also commented on Mathews’ progress, saying “He’s well on his way, from what he’s doing offseason-wise, to have a great year. … he’s in the best shape I’ve seen since he’s been here.”

Mathews had 222 carries last year for 1,091 yards and 6 touchdowns, averaging 5.7 yards per touch (2nd in the league for players with at least 210 touches) as well as 50 catches for 455 yards.