ESPN's Eric Williams, along with team reporter Hayley Elwood, joined Friday's episode of "Chargers Weekly" – the official podcast of the team – to discuss running back Austin Ekeler's multi-year extension with the team.
Williams also shared his takeaways from last week's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Highlights from the conversation are below:
Williams' reaction to Ekeler's extension (:38):
"I think it's a huge deal in terms of – like you said – Austin, his playmaking ability and the fact that I think he's gonna to continue to get better in the role that they're using him, which is as a playmaker; not just as a running back, but as a guy that can also catch the ball out of the backfield. He can line up as a receiver and make things happen there. And also if they need to use him in (the) return game, (he) can do that as well. And it kind of follows GM Tom Telesco's philosophy of drafting, or in this case signing the guy as an undrafted rookie, developing them and then retaining them by re-signing them and keeping them in the program and kind of keeping those foundational guys that you found early on in the process."
Ekeler following the path of former Chargers RB Danny Woodhead (4:27):
"No doubt. I think he's similar in terms of the way he plays, his play speed, his build – certainly you look at him (at) 5-8, 200 pounds. He's built similarly to Danny, and then they have a similar story, too, when you look at how they made it to the league and really kind of had to fight each step and really prove people wrong – and that's kind of fueled Austin and certainly it fueled Danny when he was in the NFL. So yeah, I definitely see similar paths and I also thinks it's kind of cool because I think it established a path for guys who are like Austin and Danny. They can look at those players and say, 'OK, I might not be 6-2, 220 (pounds), the traditional, big, bruising running back, but I can still play in the league because those guys have been successful."
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