FanDuel - WFBC

February 27, 2008

Michael Turner is ready for his chance to shine.: After four years of being the back up to the greatest running back in the game, Michael Turner is ready for his chance to recieve the bulk of the carries. Turner might not be L.T., but he's better than many of the halfbacks who started around the league last year.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia to football at 02:29 PM - 29 comments

He's got to be better than what Shaun Alexander gave the Seahawks last year. Alexander showed last year that he's either washed up or doesn't care. It's encouraging to see Seattle listed as a possible destination for Turner at the bottom of the article. I think as long as he goes to a team with a decent line, he could easily gain 1,200 yards next season.

posted by chamo at 03:34 PM on February 27

I'd really like to see him stay with the Chargers, but it's highly unlikely he will. he and LT were a great combo, and for Turner's sake, I hope he does as well in the starting position as he did in the backup role. It's largely thanks to him that the Chargers were able to go as far as they did in the playoffs this year, especially once LT went out. I know I didn't really have any serious worries about the running game at that point.

posted by LionIndex at 05:12 PM on February 27

The Bears have a huge need for a back like Turner (Cedric Benson blows, and they have the wrong Adrian Peterson), but I'd really like to see him go to the Texans. They're a team that's a good running back away from having a really potent offense. Why they went after Ahman Green last year is beyond me. I guess they had a glaring hole on their injury list depth chart that only he could fill.

posted by dyams at 05:50 PM on February 27

I've always wanted to see what this guy could do as a starter, and I've always tried to pick him up in later rounds of fantasy drafts, just in case. He may not have LT's moves, but he reminds of of the Vikings' Adrian Peterson, in that he makes one, maybe two cuts, and then he's gone. I look forward to seeing if he can live up to tremendous potential. And, given their interest in Turner, I just have to ask, are the Texans opening camp with a roster full of running backs, and nobody else? It seems like they've gone through more running backs than any other team in the NFL the past couple of years, and they were all pretty much worthless.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 06:13 AM on February 28

I would cut LT and keep Turner. LT quit on his team and people know it. He could have come back in that playoff game and chose to stay out. He is a cry baby and does not have the attitude you need to build a team around. He is easily in the top 2 backs in the league but you have to question where he will be when his team needs him.

posted by Debo270 at 09:49 AM on February 28

LT quit on his team and people know it. I agree completely, not so much regarding whether or not he could have continued with his injury, but how he covered up and never moved from the bench, hiding behind his helmet and dark shield while the rest of his team was trying to win a playoff game. He appeared to be sulking, and I made the comment some time ago that Philip Rivers, for example, would have never acted in that manner. If he wouldn't have been able to be on the field during that game (which almost happened), he would have been up, helping his backup, cheering on the team, etc. I think there are some serious character issues most don't want to admit with regards to LT, but he's not going anywhere. Turner, though, always runs with a full-tilt attitude and I hope he gets a chance to be the go-to guy for a team. It will be interesting to see if his style of running can hold up when he becomes a full-time player.

posted by dyams at 10:02 AM on February 28

I would cut LT and keep Turner. LT quit on his team and people know it. He could have come back in that playoff game and chose to stay out. He is a cry baby and does not have the attitude you need to build a team around. That's just total radio-talk show BS. You have *no* idea how he felt at the start of that game, not to mention how he felt after getting in for a couple plays. Was he at 80%? Maybe, but I think I'd rather have Turner in there at 100% than LT at 80, and why waste a guy on the field just using him as a decoy, especially when your opponent already knows he's hurt? I'd think he would have been hurting the team more by trying to stay in at that point, so better to sit than try to appease the mentality of people who call in to talk shows. LT's been in San Diego for a while now, and has never shown any reason whatsoever to doubt him. Sitting for one game when injured does not negate any of that. The dude never phones it in, doesn't do the big victory celebrations in the end zone and generally just doesn't go in for any of the drama that many other players do. If the only Chargers games you've ever watched are the playoff games from the last couple seasons, I can sort of understand being misled by all the hype surrounding them, but LT is someone any GM worth his salt would want on their team.

posted by LionIndex at 10:03 AM on February 28

I agree completely, not so much regarding whether or not he could have continued with his injury, but how he covered up and never moved from the bench, hiding behind his helmet and dark shield while the rest of his team was trying to win a playoff game. He appeared to be sulking I pretty much figured he was heartbroken. And he's just not the rah-rah excitable type of guy that Rivers is, so I would frankly have been surprised if he was running around (while injured) rooting on his teammates; and let's not be silly and pretend that they actually would have won had he done that. He's typically just very reserved and supports his team by playing on the field. He's just all business. But personally, I find the behavior of other people on the team, like Rivers jabbering with hecklers in Indy and Merriman's ridiculous sack dance, to be pretty embarrassing.

posted by LionIndex at 10:11 AM on February 28

You are a fool if you actually believe San Diego would consider cutting loose LT in favor of Turner. Turner has a huge upside, but is basically an unknown commodity. Can he handle carrying the full load for 16+ games in a season? We will soon see. LT on the other hand is...LT. I do agree with Dyams about his attitude in that playoff game. I don't fault him for not playing, just that he didn't really seem to give a shit about his mates on the field.

posted by curlyelk at 10:17 AM on February 28

And he's just not the rah-rah excitable type of guy that Rivers is, so I would frankly have been surprised if he was running around (while injured) rooting on his teammates It's not so much I would expect the "rah-rah" stuff from the guy, but at least stand up, maybe speak to someone, and give the impression he gave a shit. They're trying to get to the freakin' Super Bowl, not playing a week 8 game against the Dolphins!

posted by dyams at 10:38 AM on February 28

Just to clarify: you would cut one of the most dangerous offensive players in the game due to a lack of visible enthusiasm?

posted by yerfatma at 10:43 AM on February 28

No i wouldnt cut him for lack of enthusiasm but I would be concerned about where he stands as a team player. I feel he took himself out of that game to make a statement to the team about his value. I think he is becoming more and more selfish and is going to be a real problem for that team in the future. I think he wants out of San Diego. Give him his wish.

posted by Debo270 at 01:00 PM on February 28

I feel he took himself out of that game to make a statement to the team about his value. I think he is becoming more and more selfish and is going to be a real problem for that team in the future. I think he wants out of San Diego. The problem with this is that you're just assuming things about L.T. instead of actually knowing, which are two different things. Anyone can sit here and assume why he wasn't "helping" his team by standing on the sidelines while his back up, Michael "Burner" Turner played on but since we're guessing here, I would say that because he had a bad wheel at the time. Why does he need to be standing on the sidelines, with a jacked up knee anyways? That's not going to help the Chargers win the game by any means. And for people to think that Turner would be a better starter in place of L.T. is a ridiculous statement to make. We're talking about a future Hall of Famer here while in Turner, we have his back up. There's a reason why he is a back up and L.T. the starter and the people that are paid to make these decisions as to who should or shouldn't start know that L.T. is the smart choice as the RB to carry the ball.

posted by BornIcon at 01:20 PM on February 28

I feel he took himself out of that game to make a statement to the team about his value. Riiiiiiiiiiiight. Because the Chargers are ignorant about the value of the guy who holds the league record for most touchdowns by a RB in a season, a number that doesn't include the two touchdowns he passed for. And LT took himself out of a playoff game, not because he was injured, but because he wanted to make a statement about that, and thought that denying his team the superbowl would somehow (please explain how!) make things better for himself. You have got to be kidding.

posted by LionIndex at 01:30 PM on February 28

No i wouldnt cut him for lack of enthusiasm but I would be concerned about where he stands as a team player. I feel he took himself out of that game to make a statement to the team about his value. You are aware that his teammates elected him the year's MVP Offense after that game, right? Also bear in mind that you only saw what the TV producers wanted you to see. You didn't see the times that LT was encouraging his teammates, because that didn't fit with the storyline. People at the game saw a totally different LT than the TVland audience saw. LT has played hurt without complaints. He was devastated that he couldn't play during the biggest game of his entire career. However, he didn't sulk or quit on his buddies. He's a current team captain and a quiet but forceful leader on this team. He's a class act all the way. As for Rivers' smack talking...well, we was a linebacker in High School. He's like a LB playing QB. However, if he wasn't a QB, nobody would say a thing about his smack. He should however quit jawing with the opposing team's drunken fans! Norv pointed that out to him; problem fixed.

posted by Toad8572 at 05:20 PM on February 28

Also bear in mind that you only saw what the TV producers wanted you to see. You didn't see the times that LT was encouraging his teammates, because that didn't fit with the storyline. So you're saying the producers had cameras trained on LT with specific instructions to switch to him whenever he was sitting on the bench, but when he jumped up to encourage his teammates they were to pull the shots off him? Wow. LT and the entire Chargers organization should be pissed as hell about that! Face it, the guy was sulking. That doesn't take away from the year he had, from the 2006 season he had, or from the career he has had. But there were questions about his professional relationship with Turner, and his apparent attitude when not in the game during that playoff contest didn't help these concerns. Would having LT up and jumping around have altered the result of the game? No. But as the supposed-team leader, he should have found it in himself to at least give off the impression he gave a shit what happened with the guys on the field. He should have known the cameras would be on him even though he was on sideline, since he is one of the biggest stars of the game. But saying TV wanted to portay him in a negative fashion that day is ridiculous. He did that all by himself. I don't even recall anyone on the broadcast really saying anything about a possible "attitude problem." It wasn't until the next few days people began talking about it.

posted by dyams at 07:29 AM on February 29

Face it, the guy was sulking So what if he was? The guy had to leave a playoff game due to a freak injury. No way am I excusing someone not having his team's back due to the fact that they're not playing but at that moment and time, I'm sure that L.T. was not only physically hurt but emotionally as well. I do not know exactly what L.T. was thinking at that specific time & place but having played thru the season and not being expected to make the playoffs early in the season and then for the team to mesh together the way they did towards the 2nd half of the season and make the playoffs then to get hurt? I'm postive that L.T. was so hurt with not being able to go back out on the field to try and help his team that the last thing he was thinking is, "Maybe now is the time that I throw on my cheerleaders outfit and scream RAH RAH at the top of my lungs." Again, I would never condone a player that's not playing to not support his team from the bench or sidelines but I can only speak for myself and when I hurt my knee playing baseball and had to be taken out of the game, I was so devastated about not being able to go back out there and help my teammates any which way that I could. Did that mean that I there was a possible "attitude problem" on my part? My teammates didn't think so and to be honest, that should be the only perception that actually matters.

posted by BornIcon at 08:20 AM on February 29

Face it, the guy was sulking So what if he was? You're good with his reaction with the situation, then that's your right. People above, though, have refered to him as "MVP" and "Captain" of the team, so I just have a bit more as far as expectations from a person of that stature. They were playing in the AFC Championship Game, in a tight game with the (then) undefeated Patriots to go to the Super Bowl, with a win meaning he'd have two full weeks to possibly heal and maybe play, yet he chooses to wallow in his own pity. A team captain and MVP who cries for his team to succeed when he's on the field, but throws a tarp over himself on the bench when he can't play? You (and others) are OK with that, I'm not. Just my opinion.

posted by dyams at 10:23 AM on February 29

A team captain and MVP who cries for his team to succeed when he's on the field, but throws a tarp over himself on the bench when he can't play? You (and others) are OK with that, I'm not. Just my opinion. Yeah, I'm perfectly okay with one of the best players in the league with absolutely no other character flaws; not a showboater in the least; who leaves everything on the field; a guy who comes from a gulf coast state and now lives in San Diego, covering himself up on the sideline of a game in 10 degree weather when he won't be able to warm himself up by playing. I don't think you're necessarily wrong--it would have been *nice* for him to be cheering everybody on--but given the circumstances, I think you're blowing it way, way, way out of proportion.

posted by LionIndex at 12:18 PM on February 29

Two offensive captains: One, Rivers, has his knee worked on in between games so he can play, and proceeds to play his ass off. The other captain, Tomlinson, can't play and sits off by himself then entire game. Tomlinson gets a pass from people on this particular topic because he's put up numbers throughout his career. I guess the title "Captain" has really been watered down nowadays. I'm not saying he shouldn't be upset because he can't play, but at least give the team some sort of impression you want them to win (and, no, it doesn't mean he has to be up cheering like a schoolgirl. Just act like the team's captain even though you can't be on the field).

posted by dyams at 01:30 PM on February 29

but at least give the team some sort of impression you want them to win... He was voted the team's offensive MVP. The vote took place after their season was over. If you think that he didn't fully support his team, I believe that the statement that the team made with their vote fully eclipses yours or anyone's suppositions. I've also heard (read) from several of his teammates who feel any animosity directed at LT is just flat wrong. LT said that the doctors did not want him back on the field. He said when he couldn't turn the corner on an aging LB he knew his knee was toast; he couldn't explode. He knew that Turner could do a better job than he could. HE'S A TEAM PLAYER! Again, LT is a warrior who was hearbroken he couldn't play in the biggest game of his life. His teammates fully support him both then and now. The only opinions that matter are those of his fellow Chargers. If they didn't believe in him, or think he didn't have their back, they wouldn't have voted him the MVP. Lastly, don't compare Rivers to LT. Rivers said that he really didn't have to move around much, and that the demands on his knee were very different than the demands placed on the knee of a running back. LT needs no "pass" from anyone.

posted by Toad8572 at 05:24 PM on February 29

I've said it many different ways by now that I could give a shit if he played or didn't play. That's his call. And what does his being named team MVP for the season have to do with the Championship game? My opinion has to do with his attitude while out of the game. And what do you expect the other players on the team to say when speaking to the press about Tomlinson? He's their big star and they'd never say shit about him, regardless of what they may actually feel. Throw LT under the bus, they'll be sent packing. As for comparing his situation to Rivers, I'll compare them if I want. Rivers is a tough motherfucker, in my book, whether I like him or not. Just because he publicly downplays what he had to do during that game shouldn't mean any smart observer doesn't realize a quarterback in the NFL has to move a lot on every play. He gutted it out and won the respect and admiration of not only his teammates, but those who only a few weeks prior didn't like him because of his big mouth. You want to support the freakin' buddah LT, sitting like a statue on the bench while his TEAM, of which he's the captain, tries to win the freakin' AFC Championship game, then go ahead. I think he sulked like he's the most important person there is, and I'd bet it crossed the minds of some of his teammates, too. I'm done with the subject.

posted by dyams at 07:18 PM on February 29

My opinion has to do with his attitude while out of the game. What attitude? That's what I'm trying to figure out here. You make it seem as if L.T. was pissed off at everyone on his team because he couldn't play and that's just not true. The guy was devastated that he couldn't go back out and play so therefore, he felt it would be better if his back up goes out and plays in his place. The last I looked, isn't that what a back up is supposed to do? Play when the starter can't? Compare Rivers to L.T. all you want but the only similarities that they have is that they both play for the Chargers, that's it. A RB needs his legs to be at least near 100% in order to make the cuts that a RB is supposed to make. A QB isn't used as a runner unless he needs to scramble out of the pocket, therefore your comparision between the two players/position is null & void. I think he sulked like he's the most important person there is, and I'd bet it crossed the minds of some of his teammates, too That, my friend is still just your opinion. Unless you have actual proof from his teammates to prove otherwise, it's an opinion. By the way, he is the most important person on that team. Without L.T. in the mix, the Chargers are mediocre at best.

posted by BornIcon at 10:40 AM on March 03

Without L.T. in the mix, the Chargers are mediocre at best. Well, no--LT was out of the mix, along with Rivers and Gates, and they were still good enough to beat the Colts at home and give the Patriots a run for their money in the AFC championship. So based on the actual games played, if they lose LT, they're only the second best team in the AFC.

posted by LionIndex at 01:53 PM on March 03

What attitude? The attitude of just sitting there like a zombie. Couldn't he have gotten up and maybe spoken to Turner? Helped him out and encouraged him? At least made it appear he gave a shit his team was in a tough game? I thought that's what team captains did. My mistake. I guess he's the captain only when he can be on the field getting the TDs and glory. Otherwise, "Zzzzzzzzzzz." And once again, my opinions have nothing to do with him not being able to actually play.

posted by dyams at 01:58 PM on March 03

The attitude of just sitting there like a zombie. That's not an attitude, that was his demeanor.

posted by BornIcon at 02:01 PM on March 03

Yeah, LT is a quiet/shy guy in general. He and Rivers sometimes get into it with eachother on the sideline, but other than that, I don't think that there is ever much emotion coming from him. The reality is, LT is a leader by example, and injured, there was really nothing that he could do. Plus, I think he was devastated to have to sit out the most important game of his career, which is forgiveable I would think. I think Turner will be a solid if unspectacular back where ever he lands up. He is extremely powerful, but lacks the kind of creativity that LT has. I think he would be great for a pound it out offense whose main goal is to wear down the opposing defensive line. Not sure that he would be great in a system with less focus on the running game, as he is a mediocre reciever, and as a power back, works better when the offense develops the ground game.

posted by Chargdres at 02:57 PM on March 03

Well, he's gone to Atlanta, and they're pathetic, so he's gonna get his chance to run the ball now! I can see them running him straight into the ground. I have no idea what the market for him was setting up to be, but jumping on the Falcons that quickly may wind up being a HUGE mistake with regards to football on the field.

posted by dyams at 05:26 PM on March 03

I couldn't resist this one. I know it doesn't look like him during the New England game, but I got a kick out of it anyway.

posted by dyams at 12:42 PM on March 04

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