CULVER CITY, Calif. -- Mike McCoy inherited starting running back Ryan Mathews when McCoy took the job as coach of the San Diego Chargers. During the offseason, the team signed Danny Woodhead and brought back veteran Ronnie Brown.
It's easy to see those moves as a reflection of Mathews. The first-round draft pick in the 2011 NFL Draft has shown flashes of excellent play, but rarely has it been sustained. In a conversation with Around The League on Monday, McCoy said that the running back moves had "nothing to do" with Mathews' shortcomings. It was about building depth behind Mathews.
McCoy's expectations for Mathews are clear: "To have a great year and be the guy."
The former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator prefers to get multiple backs involved in the offseason, dating back to his days as a coach under John Fox with the Carolina Panthers. But there's always a lead back in these scenarios and role players filling out the rest of the snaps.
This might be Mathews' last chance to be the guy, but he's going to get a fair shot with the new coaching staff.
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.