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12 Questions: Tomlinson’s redemption shot

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by ChargerRay, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. ChargerRay

    ChargerRay Producer/Host of BoltTalk Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ms-12questions123108&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

    LaDainian Tomlinson has waited nearly a year for this moment, absorbing body blows and shots to his reputation with no realistic hope of offering a convincing response.

    Tomlinson, whose toughness was questioned after he missed most of last January’s AFC championship game with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, was stung by the criticism and anguished by his inability to help the Chargers get past the New England Patriots in the most important game of his career.

    Eleven-and-a-half months later, after a frustrating and injury-plagued 2008 campaign, LT would like nothing more than to make the Indianapolis Colts – the Chargers’ opponent in Saturday night’s first-round playoff game at Qualcomm Stadium – feel his pain.

    “Just getting another opportunity is great,” Tomlinson said after last Sunday’s 52-21 defeat of the Denver Broncos, which propelled San Diego into the postseason after a dispiriting 4-8 start. “That’s all you can ask for is another chance. I plan to make the most of it.”

    Yet even in the wake of his most impressive effort of 2008, a three-touchdown performance against the Broncos that included his longest run of the season, Tomlinson’s plan is in danger of being thwarted. Late in the third quarter, having rushed for 96 yards on 14 carries, LT felt a twinge in his abdominal muscle that was later diagnosed as a groin strain. He is expected to play against the Colts but conceded to reporters on Monday that the injury will affect him, adding, “I don’t think I’ll be 100 percent.”

    It has been that kind of year for the eighth-year star who, amid a slew of health issues and an accompanying statistical dropoff, has some NFL insiders wondering if he’s in a steep decline as he closes in on his 30th birthday in June.

    Hobbled by a painful toe injury for much of the season, Tomlinson averaged just 3.8 yards per carry in ‘08, his lowest total since his rookie season and a precipitous drop from last season’s 4.7 figure. His 1,110 rushing yards were a career low, and his 426 receiving yards (on 52 receptions) represented his third-least-prolific season. For only the second time in his career, he was not selected to the Pro Bowl.

    Stylistically, Tomlinson has been less prone to sharp, decisive cuts and hasn’t been able to turn the corner as frequently as in past seasons. He has made a habit of running out of bounds, and he has been less effective in short-yardage situations.

    Yet through most of the Chargers’ current four-game winning streak – and especially against the Broncos – LT started looking more like the player who scored a record 31 touchdowns in his MVP season of 2006. Early in the third quarter of the Denver game, he burst through the line and darted down the left sideline for a 45-yard run, his longest since a 49-yarder against the Detroit Lions in December of ‘07.

    On the Chargers’ sideline, it was as if a season’s worth of doubt and underachievement had been replaced by optimism and swagger.

    “It’s a great feeling when you see him break one off like that,” inside linebacker Stephen Cooper said, “because he is the best running back in the league, no matter what his stats say. Whenever he gets going like that, it gets the team going, and we all feed off of it. He’s showing he’s still the best, and it couldn’t come at a better time.”

    Tomlinson, too, reveled in the breakout performance, which followed strong December efforts against the Raiders (91 yards) and Bucs (90).

    “I finally had a chance to show I’ve still got it and can be highly successful,” Tomlinson said at his postgame news conference. “So it is gratifying to finally come out here and prove to all the naysayers that this old man can still run.”

    Later, as he headed back to the Qualcomm Stadium field to pose for photos with some visiting children, Tomlinson reluctantly conceded that the toe injury he suffered in the team’s season-opening defeat to the Panthers had bothered him for the first three months of the ‘08 campaign.

    “My toe was killing me early in the season,” he said. “It wasn’t right. I just had to fight through it, and it took me three-quarters of the season before it started feeling better. Finally, in the Atlanta game [a Nov. 30 loss to the Falcons], I was able to do some of the things I could do in the past. It makes a huge difference.”

    Another big difference, in Tomlinson’s eyes, has been the improved play of his offensive line. “They’ve been so good the last few weeks,” he said. “They deserve most of the credit.”

    Springing Tomlinson has been an achievement for a unit that has been in transition for the past two seasons, after coach Marty Schottenheimer, who favored a power running attack, was replaced by Norv Turner, who has gradually shifted the focus of the offense to quarterback Philip Rivers.

    Last season Tomlinson’s personal escort, All-Pro fullback Lorenzo Neal, had his playing time curtailed, and he was released over the offseason. Neal has since signed with the Ravens, where he has played a key role in establishing one of the league’s best rushing attacks, and believes it’s unfair to view Tomlinson’s decreased production as a sign of his decline.

    “You can’t judge him based on previous standards because the entire personality of the team has changed,” Neal said recently. “If he was in a situation where they were committed to the power-running game, then you could properly evaluate him.”

    Neal was one of Tomlinson’s many defenders after NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders and others criticized the halfback, who had sprained his MCL in the Chargers’ 2007 divisional-round playoff upset of the Colts, for sitting out most of the AFC championship game. After two early carries, Tomlinson spent most of the frigid day in Foxborough, Mass., sitting alone at the end of a bench looking dejected while covered by a parka. The body language in San Diego’s 21-12 defeat to the Pats was cited by critics as a sign of his lack of desire.

    Realistically, it was a product of the powerlessness he felt with his team’s season on the line.

    “It’s the hardest thing you can ever go through,” Tomlinson said. “To see your team fighting for a shot at the Super Bowl and to want to have an impact and not be able to help at all – it’s just a terrible feeling. It’s so great to have another opportunity.”

    The question, of course, is this: Now that LT has a shot at redemption, will his groin hold up, or will his body betray him again?
     
  2. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    TRADE LT.

    BEEF.
     
  3. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    I think anyone who questions LT's toughness is stupid.

    The guy played through an injury in a meaningless game at the end of a 4-12 season in 2003, then proceeded to play through this entire season with turf toe.

    Why would a guy who's willing to play through that injured voluntarily sit out the freakin AFC Championship game unless the injury was that bad?
     
  4. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Isnt there some forum where you can post by yourself some more? :lol:
     
  5. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    http://profootballxxx.com/index.php/topic,143.0.html

    TrumpetMan's Biiitch Slap Video thread. This thread is the greatest thread on the internet.

    We have over 100++ registered posters and the site was just launched. :icon_eek:

    Our recruitment efforts have been nil so as they say "the best advertising is word of mouth" :abq2: :bolt: The site is mighty and feared and revolutionary run by rebels with a cause. :lol:
     
  6. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    Get back on point to not trash Ray's thread. :lol:

    Hey man LT is going into the playoffs with bruised ovaries - again.

    Mighty Mouse to the rescue and do not forget my boy Tolbert & Legoland.

    Seriously, this LT getting dinged two years in a row is playing out not so well and will feed the fact that he is about to turn 30 and the clock is ticking. If LT wants to get the gorilla off his back or up his *** or where ever the gorilla resides, he better get whale tranqullizers to kill the pain.
     
  7. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    You hit it in the first sentence, they are idiots.
     
  8. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    Releasing Niel was a HUGE mistake and we paid for it up until the last three out of four games. Releasing LT will regress us even more.
     
  9. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    I have never seen anyone suck himself off so much. You are hilarious.
     
  10. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    You want an autograph ? :lol:
     
  11. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Yeah and you would have us trade the best RB in the league. You are the Al Davis of Charger fans... Just fail baby! :lol:
     
  12. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    ^^^^ QFT ^^^^

    :icon_rofl: :icon_rofl:
     
  13. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    I guarantee LT plays if his injury isn't debilitating enough to the point that he can't play.

    It'll really suck if it is, though, for 2 reasons.

    First and formost, that he wouldn't be playing.

    and secondly because it'll lead people to believe that much more that he's soft.
     
  14. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    Trumpet Man is legendary!!! :flag:



    And who the Hell are you?! :icon_shrug:
     
  15. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    He will play. And all the LT doubters will find excuses to defend their positions.
     
  16. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    :icon_toast: - I hear what you have been saying. Freaking fans have wet panties and we tanked this goddamn season to an 8-8 playoff showing. That should never ever happen with this talent so what is left - coaching.....ouch.

    Yeah ... we get blown out and it will hit the fan. U are F'n eh right. We win the whole thing and all is almost forgiven.....Now give us another....,Now I am happy.

    Uncle Norv is not the anti christ but until the above happens ...... the dude is teetering .... :icon_eek:
     
  17. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Why don't you two get a room for this love fest?
     
  18. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    Look you goddamm Kojak look alike. The production curves for running backs was shown on National TV.

    That should have sent shock waves through the fan base but noooooo .....

    This is where fans have to F'n nut up. This is not the Padres and Tony Gywnn. Get something for LT before it is too late and build the lines (you know where the war is won or lost).

    It takes balls to make those calls and to see beyond today.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Are you delusional enough to believe that you have a say in LT staying or going?

    You were ready to trade Rivers last season. How well did your ballsy call work out fer ya?:lol:
     
  20. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    They can't build the lines without trading LT?
     
  21. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    AJ SHOULD be able to build them in 6 days, taking the 7th off. :icon_tease:
     
  22. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Trumpy must be posting altered, that or he has forgotten the draft... :lol:
     
  23. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    You can do it faster and better with trade bait.

    LT is past his prime ladies and gentlemen. Get what we can get before it is too late. RB's are a dime a dozen. The writing is on the wall.

    Fans refuse to see it. See recent examples of Seau and Rodney. It is going to happen and fans will be saying we screwed up when it will be for the best. Watch.
     
  24. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Go back to sleep Mr. Davis, let the people who are not senile run the team... :icon_tease:
     
  25. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I believe both Junior AND Rodney won SB's after they were dismissed from SD as being injury prone and/or not a good fit for the team.

    Send LT to NE. He'll get his ring there. And you'll still be peddling ****.
     
  26. boltmanbz

    boltmanbz Well-Known Member

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    not again!:tdown:
     
  27. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    You don't think other GMs have seen what he's failed to do this season and know his age and the relative time table of a running back?

    Do you really think we'd get a lot for him to the point that it'd be worth trading a San Diego icon?
     
  28. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    By Junior and Rodney winning Super Bowls I assume you meant the Patriots won one?

    Junior still doesn't have any rings, by the way.

    Dismissing Rodney was a poor decision

    Dismissing Junior was a good decision. He hasn't been anything more than a good back up since he's left San Diego.
     
  29. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    Amen!
     
  30. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man New Member

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    Now I have seen it all. Charger fans defending the Patriots winning Super Bowls.

    Jesus Christ.

    Hey Buck - did they REALLY win anything ? :icon_rofl:
     

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