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RB Ryan Mathews a step behind to start camp, fails conditioning test


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Mathews struggles in conditioning

When he'd finished running on the field, a good 15 minutes after his teammates had come in from practice, Ryan Mathews entered the locker room on Friday evening.

A few steps inside, a veteran teammate asked Mathews a casual yet loaded question, accompanied by a smile that was more of a smirk.

“You all right?”

Mathews, still breathing heavily, quickly replied that he was.

It's been a rough couple days for Mathews, who was unable to finish Wednesday's conditioning test, prompting incessant teasing (and some incredulity) from teammates.

Mathews, as he did the challenges that pockmarked his rookie season, has faced this latest struggle straight on, without excuse.

“My cardio is real good; I don’t get tired,” Mathews said. “It’s the speed work. I haven’t been doing much speed work like that. There’s a couple things I probably should have done differently in the offseason, conditioning my legs.”

To atone, Mathews has been doing extra running after practices and said he will continue to do so as long as necessary.

“It’s making sure I’m accountable for what I didn’t get done in the offseason,” Mathews said. “It’s my legs. If you want the ball 20-25 times a game, it’s about having the legs.”

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I think this is much ado about little. He worked strength training, just didn't quite get things balanced out. He's bigger and stronger than last year by photos, a couple of weeks of TC and he'll be fine. I don't do fantasy, but I wouldn't trade him off for something like this.

out of shape is out of shape.... I think SD blew it with that pick.

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out of shape is out of shape.... I think SD blew it with that pick.

I would tend to agree. Ryan Mathews reminds me a lot of Donald Brown. Maybe a little stronger and faster.

There is no reason to draft a RB in the first round unless you are getting an exceptional talent like Adrian Peterson or Chris Johnson. It's too easy to find quality runners later. The top rookie running backs last season (Blount and Ivory) weren't even drafted.

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