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Ryan Mathews' Chargers teammates reply to criticism

  • By Kevin Patra NFL.com
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San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews appeared on "NFL AM" last Friday and said the team's poor record in 2012 was a result of complacency under former coach Norv Turner.

With players reporting for the first workouts in the team's offseason conditioning program Monday, some of Mathews' teammates had a chance to respond to the criticism.

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"I just wish he would have spoken for himself," linebacker Donald Butler told U-T San Diego. "That's all. Just speak for yourself. Don't make generalized statements like that about the whole team. ... I haven't got a chance to talk to him, but I'm sure he knows that. It is what is. Just speak on yourself, and that's it."

Veteran center Nick Hardwick told the newspaper he didn't watch the segment, and while he was hesitant to comment on last season, he knows how hard he works every day.

"Just from my own personal standpoint, I throw up before every game," Hardwick said. "I know what kind of work it's going to take to even get through a game, let alone to win a game."

Mathews' comments seemed to try to put a positive spin on moving forward with a new coaching staff led by head coach Mike McCoy. Team leaders might make it a point to tell the fourth-year pro not to paint his teammates with a broad brush. However, these weren't comments in the same vein as Pittsburgh Steelers players defining their locker room as "fractured" earlier this offseason. This should be brushed under the rug quickly.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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