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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
Battle Sparks Chargers with Pair of TDs
Jackie Battle spent the first five years of his career with the Kansas City Chiefs. But head coach Norv Turner’s decision to start him at running back wasn’t for sentimental purposes. Simply put, Battle proved he deserved a more prominent role in the offense by leading the team with 124 yards on 17 carries (7.3 yards per carry) and two touchdowns heading into the game.
Splitting carries with Ryan Mathews, Battle continued his strong play on Sunday by notching a pair of touchdowns in the Bolts’ dominating 37-20 win in Kansas City.
So how did it feel to have two scores against his former team?
“It was awesome!” Battle said with a hearty laugh. “I mean, I think I only had three or four in my whole career in Kansas City over five years. To get two here was a good feeling. It felt good to run out there against my old teammates, especially guys I practiced against for five years straight. This was the first time I went live against them, so that was a bit strange. But once the game got going that kind of wore off.”
Battle finished the afternoon leading the team in both rushing attempts and receptions. He carried the ball 15 times for 39 yards and a touchdown, and had four catches for 42 yards and a score.
“When they call plays and throw me out there, I just play,” he said about his increased workload. “I really don’t know how many carries I’m going to get week in and week out. I kept trying to come off and they kept throwing me back in there.”
With the way he played on Sunday, it’s understandable if the Chargers keep him on the field even more. As Turner said, it’s hard to sit a guy who lays it all out on the line every time he touches the ball.
“When you play against your former team, it’s natural to want to give a little extra,” he said. “But the thing with Jackie is I don’t know if it’s possible to give any more than he does. He gives it everything he’s got on every down.”
Le’Ron McClain, the Chargers fullback who also blocked for Battle last season in Kansas City, was thrilled for his teammate to put together the type of performance he had today against the team that let them both go.
“I feel great for Jackie,” said McClain. “The whole backfield came through in their own way today, but I’m happy to see Jackie do what he did today. It felt awesome.”