Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Chargers' Turner is quite a burner

Michael Turner of the Chargers will be the best running back available on the free agent market this offseason.

So said Charley Casserly of the “NFL Today” show on CBS-TV last Sunday.

Before then, Turner may be the best running back available for the Chargers when they play the New England Patriots for the AFC Championship this Sunday.

If LaDainian Tomlinson is less than full speed because of his hyperextended left knee, Turner is a better option than any other NFL team has in going to its second-string running back.

When LT went down in the second quarter Sunday at Indianapolis, the Chargers didn’t miss a beat at running back. Not only did Turner lead all rushers with 71 yards in 17 attempts, he helped open up the Chargers passing game which accounted for 312 yards.

For those who have not paid attention to the Chargers over the years (and there are many current bandwagon people who haven’t), this is the type of performance that has come to be expected from Turner in limited roles.

In 2005, he rushed for an 83-yard touchdown (and 113 yards overall) when the Chargers stunned Indianapolis, 26-17, after the Colts had started the season with 13 straight victories.

In 2006, he rushed for 138 yards in a 40-7 win against Tennessee.

On both of these occasions, Turner came on in relief of Tomlinson.

Turner will almost definitely leave the Chargers after this season to realize his dream of being a starting running back in the NFL.

The Chargers kept him around for $2 million in 2007 to help them in pursuit of a championship … and just in case Tomlinson ever went down.

Keeping Turner for the 2007 season may turn out to be among the best moves the Chargers have made in a long time … especially if Tomlinson is ineffective at New England.


sam said...

Turner was a big difference in the Indy game. It's nice to know he's there if something happens to LT.

kareem said...

Without a doubt, Turner is the best second string running back in the league. When he has had the chance to prove it he shows how a running back is suppose to work in this league. Someone is going to have a great back next year when he leaves the Chargers.