San Diego Chargers running back Branden Oliver did not record a single touch in the defeat of Cleveland on Sunday.
The San Diego running game is clearly a two-man show with Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead taking the meaningful snaps. Consider Oliver nothing more than insurance.
Most of Oliver's touches came after this game was decided, and the Bolts pulled Melvin Gordon and Philip Rivers out of the game. Oliver's value will remain very low unless one of the top running backs gets injured.
"My power, strength, speed and agility am focusing on," he told the team website. "I want to get better at everything. I don't really focus on just one particular thing. I like to be well-rounded and won't limit myself to one area."
Oliver was particularly effective early in the season, rushing for 272 yards and two touchdowns during one three-game stretch. He is seeking greater consistency in 2015.
"(This year) I'm more comfortable and know the offense. Now I can just go out there and ball. I'm gelling with the guys and am more open to them because I know them better. It's really just crazy to be going into my second year already. But I feel real good."
After losing running back Ryan Mathews to free agency,
“Ryan was very unique,” McCoy said. “He’s different than what we have now. But as that physical guy, yes, you can say Branden is that physical guy we have now.”
Oliver, an undrafted free agent in 2014, led the Chargers in rushing last season with 582 yards rushing and three touchdowns. He was named Pepsi AFC offensive rookie of the week twice last year.
McCoy went on to say that Oliver will benefit from the return of Danny Woodhead and teammate Donald Brown in 2015. Both players missed time in 2014.
“We can win with the three guys we have now,” McCoy said. “I believe that. We’re going to play them all. So, they’re all going to play in their own way, and we’ll see what happens through the draft and the rest of free agency with what’s available.”
The 23-year-old ball carrier signed a four-year contract with the team last season.
Oliver got a goal line carry early in the second quarter and plunged into the end zone from one yard out. His longest carry of the day went for 18 yards.
Oliver finishes his rookie campaign with 582 yards and three touchdowns on 160 carries. His most significant playing time coming when starting running back Ryan Mathews was injured.
|6||10/18/15||@ GB||4:25 pm|
|8||11/1/15||@ BAL||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 10|
|12||11/29/15||@ JAC||1:00 pm|
|14||12/13/15||@ KC||1:00 pm|
|16||12/24/15||@ OAK||8:25 pm|
|17||1/3/16||@ DEN||4:25 pm|
|2014||San Diego Chargers||14||7||160||582||3.6||52||3||3||30|
|2015||San Diego Chargers||4||0||11||32||2.9||6||0||0||2|
|2014||San Diego Chargers||14||7||36||271||7.5||50||1||3||1||11|
|2015||San Diego Chargers||4||0||1||17||17.0||17||0||0||0||1|
|2014||San Diego Chargers||14||1||22||22.0||22||0||0|
|2015||San Diego Chargers||4||8||197||24.6||30||0||0|
|2014||San Diego Chargers||14||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2015||San Diego Chargers||4||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
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