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For 1st title, LT willing to play 2nd fiddle

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    By Tim Sullivan, UNION-TRIBUNE COLUMNIST Friday, March 12, 2010

    LaDainian Tomlinson is humbling himself for the chance to be exalted.
    The most accomplished running back still active has swallowed his pride, checked his ego and traveled to Minnesota to discuss a supporting role behind pro football’s foremost fumbler, Adrian Peterson. Though this is tantamount to Aretha Franklin auditioning to sing backup for Lady Gaga, it is consistent with LT’s stated purpose and top priority: to chase a championship.
    Tomlinson has more money than he will ever need and enough fame for 10 lifetimes. What he lacks after nine mostly splendid seasons with the Chargers is the validation of ultimate victory, the closure only a Super Bowl can bring. Toward that elusive end, the Vikings may represent his most attractive means. Unless, of course, it’s the New York Jets, the second stop on his Canton Can Wait tour.
    By scheduling his first two free-agent visits at the losing teams of January’s conference championship games, Tomlinson has demonstrated that he’s more interested in posterity than in playing time. He is prepared, he says, to proceed as a third-down back, to accept fewer carries if it means a stronger shot at the Lombardi Trophy.
    “I don’t have a problem with it,” Tomlinson told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “I know I can catch the ball really well out of the backfield, can run the routes and that’s something that I’ve always looked for as I got older in my career. Being able to fall back on that. Not having to carry the ball as much.
    “I think that’s what was lost in San Diego because I was the only guy that could really carry the ball 20 times (per game). So my third-down role was reduced. So now I’m looking for that. It’s something I can do and I can fit in well.”
    What athletes say when they’re out of work is not always identical to what they’re thinking. It’s hard to get your foot in the door, after all, if you can’t keep it out of your mouth. Yet while LT’s San Diego exit interviews betrayed considerably more bitterness than his in-season remarks — a flip-flop some have read as hypocrisy — his moods are typically transparent.
    If Tomlinson signs with the Vikings or the Jets, or with some other team with a prominent back already in place, he will go in with the understanding that he will have fewer touches, that after 2,880 NFL carries, his hands are now subordinate claws.
    Such a transition is not unprecedented in professional sports, but it is certainly unusual. Few athletes of LT’s stature have accepted reserve roles, much less embraced them. Before his latest issues arose, Allen Iverson was on record as saying he would choose retirement over the prospect of diminished playing time.
    Bill Walton was an exception. The NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 1977-78 while with Portland, Walton would win the league’s Sixth Man award eight years later in Boston. If you’re making a list of superstar athletes who have subsequently thrived in secondary roles, though, it probably wouldn’t fill a Post-it note.
    Part of the Vikings’ decision process involves assessing Tomlinson’s willingness to defer to Peterson — actual as opposed to asserted — a concern complicated by some of LT’s published statements.
    Last fall, after Hall of Famer Jim Brown called Peterson the most complete back in the NFL, Tomlinson responded with a vigorous self-defense.
    “I was sitting there reading it thinking, ‘Wow,’  ” he told the Los Angeles Times. “The difference with me is you can put me out on that field and there will be nothing I can’t do. I won’t have to come off the field. Adrian has to come off sometimes on third down. Running routes, he’s still not there yet.”
    Six months later, these comparisons seem almost quaint. Peterson continues to have difficulty holding onto the ball — he has fumbled 20 times over the past three seasons; Tomlinson only three — but he gained more yards, caught more passes and scored more touchdowns than did LT in 2009. Furthermore, Peterson is not yet 25 years old and Tomlinson turns 31 in June.
    Still, before inviting LT to the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the Vikings wanted to know what sort of ripples he might cause. They wanted to know whether he’d be a fit or have a fit. As part of the Vikings’ vetting process, coach Brad Childress sought out the Chargers’ Norv Turner, the unnamed target of some of Tomlinson’s more pointed complaints.
    “Anything that I would say about LT would be positive,” Turner said yesterday. “Obviously, my comments to Brad were positive (because) they brought him in. In these discussions, coaches would want to know more about how a guy is mentally, and the mindset. Personnel people make their own evaluations about how a guy is physically ...
    “No one thinks any more of LT than I do.”
    If Turner sustained any bruises during Tomlinson’s departure, the air-oriented coach is prepared to let it pass.
    “I’ve been in this league 25 years and I’ve been through a lot of situations,” Turner said. “Things change. I don’t think any one of us have made a conscious effort (to de-emphasize the running game). That’s the way the team evolved.
    “It’s not lip service: I would like to be balanced. I would.”
    Turner points to the presence of Darren Sproles and the desire to preserve Tomlinson for the playoffs as primary factors in how LT’s role devolved last season. Turner said he thinks Tomlinson can still help a team win, and that he believes he’s the kind of player who can accept reduced responsibilities.
    “If LT said it,” Turner said, “he’s sincere.”
    If he can get to the Super Bowl as a second-stringer, the rings are the same
     
  2. ChargerRay

    ChargerRay #FireMcCoy #FirePagano Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    No way LT wins a title in NY. That team will be lucky to even make the playoffs next year.
     
  3. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Don't kid yourself.

    As for LT - good luck & thanks for the memories. :tup:

    Moving on ....
     
  4. Brundlefly

    Brundlefly Well-Known Member

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    I actually agree with him, it was by pure luck they got in last year.
     
  5. Scott the Rock

    Scott the Rock BoltTalker

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    Dont be so sure. They are going to be a good team again. I hate to say it
     
  6. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    How do you figure that? There's no reason why they shouldn't be better next season.
     
  7. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    But then they moved onto the AFCC being on the road the entire time. That's pretty impressive.
     
  8. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    The Jets are going to be this years Atlanta. The Falcon made it to the NFCC game in 08 then finished out of the playoffs in 09. I think the Jets are probably going to have the same type of thing going on
     
  9. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    They indeed earned their wins in the playoffs but did not earn their playoff berth. You tell me that had Indy kept their starters in that they would have made it as far as they did?
     
  10. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    It's nice how LT biotch slapped Dego fan by taking less and agreeing to being a back-up.:icon_shrug:
     
  11. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    right? he probably had his best chance to win a ring here. i think it would be kinda funny if we win it next year
     
  12. scratchnz

    scratchnz BoltTalker

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    Its obvious that the whole dynamic of this team will change next season with LT gone...

    ...will it be for the better, or worse?

    Even thou I blame the Organisation for LT not wanting to be here...I still love and support the Chargers as a whole and I pray that LT leaving is the for the better of the team!

    ...if not...well..doesn't bare thinking about
     
  13. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    Fixed and Yep.
     
  14. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    LT went to the jets for 5 million reasons.

    Not one of them has anything to do with a ring

    :bolt:
     
  15. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    i respect LT and all but hes got the opportunity to do something bigger than himself, can't you just grin and bear it? For someone who loves this city so much...
     
  16. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Rex Ryan's first post-op concern was L.T.

    Posted by Mike Florio on March 15, 2010 10:24 PM ET

    So as you all know by now, Jets coach Rex Ryan underwent a procedure aimed at shrinking his stomach via the attachment to it of an oversized rubber band.

    Though it's not as serious as gastric bypass, it's still surgery. And so when Ryan woke up after surgery, what did he say?

    According to Peter King of SI.com, "Did we get L.T. signed yet?"

    King reports that Ryan called Tomlinson later in the day, and the next day Tomlinson decided to join the Jets.
     
  17. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Rex Ryan really wanted LaDainian Tomlinson.

    Ryan was in on meetings with Tomlinson on Friday in New Jersey to try to persuade him to sign as a free-agent with the Jets. Then the Jets coach, who has always struggled with his weight, went to Manhattan on Saturday to have lap-band surgery on his stomach, and the first thing he did when he woke up from the surgery was ask: "Did we get LT signed yet?'' the answer was no, so when Ryan had rested and returned home late in the day Saturday, he called Tomlinson to put on one last sales pitch. And Sunday morning, Tomlinson settled on the Jets.

     
  18. SDDon

    SDDon BoltTalker

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    I have HUGE issues with the fact that more Fans of the Chargers are not UP IN ARMS over the reversal of LT and what he said as he left the Chargers a few weeks back.

    Let's recap this whole story. All season LT told anybody that would listen how happy he was with his role here this last year, he could be seen on the sidelines excited, congratualting other players, and even hugging Norv on occasion. Fast Forward he does not get the job done against the Jets, can't even deliver what he did during the regular season and he took some flack from fans, media both local and national.

    So he lashes out, does a complete 180about his role this year and anounces that he has 4 years left in the tank, that he feels he can still gain 1200 to 1400 yards per season during that time, and he says that he won't lower his contract again, that he will ONLY play for $5 mill per season. He also does not want to share his role, he feels he shouod be the feature back on the team he plays for.

    So he ONLY gets interest from 2 teams, the Jets and the Vikes. He goes to Minny first, it is a back-up role, more of a 3rd down situational back type role, so he goes to NY, there he would the back-up to 2nd year guy Shonn Greene. He fels he will get more action in NY than in Minny behind AP. He signs for ONLY 2 years instead of 4. The money is half of what he said his minimum was, $2.5 mill per season.

    I am furious at LT, he is a liar, he talks out the side of his neck. He caused problems in our locker as he dealt with his declining skills and his inability to accept his reduced role. He ran his mouth in the press and now has ended up with less money for about the same length he could of stayed here.

    The Jets also have there share in all this, they let T. Jones walk for about the same money they are paying LT now, and Jones gained 1400 yards last season and knows there system.

    IMO, they deserve each other, it is the BLIND LEADING THE BLIND.

    I hope this puts an end to all this backlash from local fans about showing LT the door and shows everyone that it was LT who was the problem here.
     
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  19. sdbound

    sdbound Well-Known Member

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    He should have asked what to do with all of the extra skin. He is going to look like a flying squirrel the next time he argues with the refs.
     
  20. NORV4LIFE

    NORV4LIFE NO MORE NORV!!!!!

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    I think there are 31 reasons they won't be better

    [​IMG]
     
  21. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    So what?
    We wouldn't have made the playoffs in 08 had the Donks not lost 3 straight games before we played them in the final game of the season.

    So like us... they got a break. So what?
     
  22. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    Again... he was released. He HAD to leave the team!
     
  23. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    I guess Emmit "biotch slapped" Dallas fans, and Jerry Rice "biotch slapped" 9er fans also, huh?

    Don't be an idiot. He was cut, had no choice on whether he was on the team or not. And even if he wanted to be gone, why do you blame him? Why would he want to be on a team that can't run the ball, and doesn't give a s_it if they are ever able to run the ball effectively?

    The guy want to have success at his job instead of playing in an offensive scheme where he doesn't fit. Why would a good WR want to go play for a team that run 50 times a game that doesn't have a quality QB? They don't
     
  24. Brundlefly

    Brundlefly Well-Known Member

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    You say this like he didn't have a part in being let go. He didn't want to be here anymore and wouldn't take less money so they released him.
     
  25. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    Again... he said he was done here because he knew he was going to be released. Everybody knew that. The writing was all over the walls.

    When he walked off the field in that playoff joke... he knew that was his last game in Bolts.
     
  26. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    The shoe was literally on the other foot regarding loyalty.

    Players biatch about no loyalty yet LT never even suggested to take a vet minimum (about $1 million per year) to stay.

    He refused to accept any thought of a pay cut yet signs for $2.5 mil per year with the enemy.

    Dude sold out for $1.5 million dollars more basically. :yes:
     
  27. Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan

    Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan Well-Known Member

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    Exactly! He made $1million from the Chargers just by leaving.
     
  28. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    Do you guy not live on Planet Earth? AJ Smith said last year and again this year, they were NOT going to renegotiate LT's contract. So even if he wanted to stay at a reduced rate, the team wouldn't let him. Why is that so hard to understand?
     
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  29. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    $1.5 million .... :lol:

    Anyway you slice it the results are the same. It is not pretty to see LT cry about loyalty and then bails for just a bit more cash-ish.

    The dude has endorsements up the wazoo so even though LT did his thing here, he jammed for a gang green enema of moolah.

    You have to call it the way it is without being biased otherwise, we suckazz as fans.
     
  30. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    LT said the same thing - BOTH sides said that there would be no negotiating. LT said specifically that he would NOT renegotiate his contract again to stay with the Chargers.

    Everyone who paid attention knew 2009 was his last year here.
     

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