A look at the Chargers’ three-headed back field

 The days in the feature back in the NFL are gone, and the theories why are endless.

“I think it’s really because of the evolution of the passing game,” said Chargers all-time leading rusher Ladainian Tomlinson.

“The more weapons you got, I think, the harder it is for defense to really key in on one guy,” stated Ryan Mathews.

“Guys now getting guys specifically that can do one thing,” continued Tomlinson.

This season, the Chargers have three guys, all with the ability to be feature backs in the NFL: two-time 1,000-yard rusher Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead who had 1,000 yards rushing receiving last season and Donald Brown who started one-third of his games with the Colts.

“Any opportunity you have to be ready for when your number is called to make the most of each and every opportunity,” said Brown. 

“We want to win football games,” declared Woodhead. “So, whatever works best at the time or whatever our roles may be, I think it’ll happen.”

How does one choose between the three?

“There’s going to be a hot-hand one week, and that player might play a little more, he might get more touches,” explained head coach Mike McCoy. “We might throw the ball more one week, so we might change who’s in there for that.”

“I think too they’re all three solely unselfish. I get so excited when another guy makes a big run and it’s not like ‘uh, I wanted that to be my carry,'” said quarterback Philip Rivers. “Sure, they probably wanted that to be their carry, but it’s a very unselfish group.”

The back field by committees in the new NFL, some guys are just old-school.

“And so, if I had my choice, we’re going to keep it with the old days – when the running back gets 30 carries,” laughed Tomlinson.

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