Chargers RB Maddox Set the Bar

Nick Maddox got the bulk of the work for the San Diego Chargers in Saturday's loss to Seattle. This week his reps have been limited, but he still sees the advantage of going first.

"I think I set the bar," Maddox said.

With the team looking to potentially keep a third running back, and possibly a practice squad spot, Nick Maddox was happy with his first game.

Maddox attributes that to the San Diego Chargers coaching staff.

"What I have learned here has really helped me. Now I can know that this receiver will be blocking this guy and I know where the hole will be or if I have to bounce it (to the outside). Before I would be in my cut and think, ‘this receiver has the block'. Now I know this receiver is going to block to the inside so I can bounce it outside."

"On the long run I had, I knew the coverage was man so I knew the corner was going to follow his man and I knew my fullback was going to block the safety. I knew my guard and my tight end were going to climb and I knew where I had to be."

Knowing the different blocking schemes is essential to any running back. If you know where the blocks will be, your vision is clearer and the big gains are possible.

One concern Maddox had was his running style. "I think I ran a little too high (on Saturday)."

If Maddox can get down a little in his running stance, it might prove the difference between going down quickly and fighting for a few extra yards. He does not want to be labeled as a particular type of back, such as a change of pace back.

"I need to fight for those extra yards and show the team I can move the pile. I think they know I can run and catch the ball well. I don't want to be labeled."

On the missed reception:

"That was an easy catch. That was easy…I thought I saw a linebacker coming and tried to sneak a peek before the ball got there."

Remembering that Maddox would snap himself with his rubber bands after messing up, the next logical question was just that.

"I did when I got back in the huddle."

Maddox knows his faults and is working hard on correcting them. He only has so long. Thursday afternoon after a two a day, Maddox was the last one to leave the field. It's all about the attitude.

Maddox worked on catching the ball one handed with his left hand as he says he has, "Better control with my left hand. I am right handed though."

What was the difference between practice and a real game then?

"It was like a Florida State practice. The main difference is the safeties. They come up fast to make plays and they can hit."

Maddox admitted to having bruised ribs after the game but came back saying, "Hey I was a little banged up, but that is the life of a running back in the NFL."

Maddox ended the day with 72 yards on 10 carries with a long of 38. He also added four receptions for 24 yards.

Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer plans to give Dahrran Diedrick the bulk of the carries this weekend. "I would like to see him get eight or 10 rushing attempts in this ball game just to see where he stacks up relative to Nick Maddox and some of the other young runners we have," Schottenheimer said.

As Maddox stated, the bar has been set.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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