LaDainian Tomlinson should probably get his last visit in to the San Diego Zoo while he still can. I hear it is world renowned and word on the street is that LT’s days as a Charger are over. LT thinks that his tenure in San Diego is all but finished. The Chargers have still not come to an official decision on what to do with the 2006 NFL MVP. LaDainian is definitely a fan favorite, and the consummate team player. He will be sorely missed by the Charger Nation.
More and more over the past couple of years, teams have become pass first teams. The NFL as a whole has transformed in front of our eyes into a pass first League. The Chargers are no different, and with Philip Rivers, Vincent Jackson, and Antonio Gates, the Chargers are pretty much a pass only type of team now. Rivers has developed into an outstanding quarterback and is one of the top 5 passing threats in the league. Jackson had a phenomenal season and of course we all know what Antonio Gates is capable of.
It is just unfortunate for this beautiful relationship to have to end this way. It is really nobody in particular’s fault in this situation. LT has been injured on and off the past few years. He has slowed down and is not the running back he once was. Philip Rivers has gotten better each season and developed into one of the best pocket passers in the league. Not to mention Vincent Jackson emerging as a Pro Bowl caliber receiver. Then lastly the incremental improvement of the tiny speedster out of Kansas State, Darren Sproles, has not helped LT’s cause.
So lets not forget how LaDainian ended up a Charger anyway. In the 2001 draft, he was selected 5th overall by the Falcons. Many forget that the Chargers also held the first overall pick in that draft and traded it to the Falcons so that the ATL squad could draft a strapping young scrambling QB out of Virginia Tech. A man by the name of Michael Vick. Maybe you have heard of him? I wonder who got the better end of that deal both on and off the field?
LT has been a model citizen for the league since departing from TCU 9 years ago. He gets along with his teammates and coaches. He is friendly and genuine with the media. He stays out of trouble off the field. And obviously has had some phenomenal seasons on the field. LT has the record for most touchdowns in a season with 31. The most rushing touchdowns in a season with 28. The record for the most consecutive games with a rushing touchdown (18). And I could go on. LT is a Hall of Fame running back by all accounts.
I wish LT the best and hope that he ends up in a situation that suits him well.
More guys in the League should be like LT..
Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.