We have reason to be disappointed in Ryan Mathews.

But not angry. Certainly not this angry.

“I’ve had people say they hope me and my mom get AIDS and die,” Mathews said, offering an example of the multitude of hateful messages he has received via Twitter.

The vocal minority that trolls the Internet can be so cruel. So cruel and so stupid.

It can, at times, also be correct.

Mathews has through three seasons not been worth the price the Chargers paid.

He’s played hardly the equivalent of a season-and-a-half yet lost enough fumbles to fill a career. He’s seemingly had as many different injuries as trips to the end zone. If you absolutely had to choose which he was worse at, blocking or running in the open field, you’d give up and call it a tie.

“So far, what I’ve done right now,” Mathews said, “I’ve been just an average back.”

Yeah, you might find this difficult to believe, but no one is more disappointed in Ryan Mathews than Ryan Mathews.

“I got a lot of people just frustrated with my performance in the last few years,” he said. “They expected me to come in and do big things. And I expect myself to.”

In addition to the high ankle sprain in 2010 and the two broken collarbones in 2012, those expectations might have been his biggest problem.

No one can accuse Mathews of not caring. The kid has been forthright from the time he was drafted about his desire to be great, the things he needs to work on and, through it all, his shortcomings.

There have been times over the past three season when he has looked like someone stole his puppy. Fact is, he’s been carrying a heavy ghost on his shoulders.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself to fill LT’s shoes,” Mathews said. “I was trying to live up to those expectations -- what he was doing in his prime, all the yards he’s getting’, all the touchdowns he’s getting’, just trying to live up to that. I knew I was the first-round pick, (the Chargers) moved up (16) spots and all that, and I was just trying to do more than what I should have been doing. I think I took all the fun out of it and stressed myself out over it.”

The justification for Mathews among teammates , coaches and the front office are so consistent that you can feel the hope – almost desperation -- that they will finally see on a consistent basis what they’ve seen in flashes.

“I want it for us,” Philip Rivers said. “But I want it for him too. He’s battled through some stinky injuries -- not injuries that are about being tough. They are injuries where you can’t go. I hate that for him. And there’s no question he can do it.”

Doesn’t seem to be. With a healthy 4.4 yards a carry, Mathews has not gotten a failing grade. His mark is an incomplete.