Succession planning ensures that there are highly qualified people in all positions, not just today, but tomorrow, next year, and beyond.
The Chargers have done a good job of succession planning at linebacker; not so good at running back.
Why else would Darren Sproles be designated as their “franchise” player for 2009?
Sproles will earn $6.6 million, the average pay of the top five salaried running backs in the NFL.
That’s quite a lofty status for someone who serves as a third-down back, kick returner and sometimes running back.
How did the Chargers get in this position?
When LaDainian Tomlinson was injured in the 2007 playoffs, the Chargers saw it as an exception; not a trend. Unfortunately, it has become a trend.
At 5-foot-6, Sproles is certainly not built to handle the load as an every down running back. That’s up to LT – as long as he’s healthy.
And, by the way, the Chargers will only take Tomlinson back if he agrees to a reduced salary in 2009. In essence, if LT returns, he’ll only being making about half as much as his backup named Sproles.
When it comes to this vital position, lack of succession planning is catching up with the Chargers. Where’s Michael Turner when you need him?