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L.T. on Rivers, Gates: "I thought they were my guys"

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

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    L.T. on Rivers, Gates: "I thought they were my guys"

    Posted by Mike Florio on August 15, 2010 1:36 PM ET


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    When training camp opened in San Diego, quarterback Philip Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates offered up some candid, but not particularly derogatory or surprising, remarks about former Chargers tailback LaDainian Tomlinson.

    Said Rivers regarding L.T.'s departure: "Maybe it was a little bit of a relief. Maybe it's a feeling of, 'I can do a little more without wondering what he thinks.'"

    Said Gates: "Sometimes you would get the sense that people felt bigger than the team. Not to say it was an issue, but we know it's not an issue for sure now."

    Tomlinson has responded.

    "I thought they were my guys," the brand-new New York Jet said, per Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times. "People always say, and my family has said it to me, that you know who your real friends are when you're at your lowest point and you don't have a job or whatever. And guys, they said what they felt, whether they were taking shots at me or really just saying what they felt needed to be said."

    As to Tomlinson's departure from San Diego itself, he says it was a long time coming.

    "I'm not going to say I wasn't happy, but I started to see my departure out of San Diego way before you guys did," Tomlinson said. "I could sense it. I started to make a little gripe about running the ball more, and people thought I was crazy. 'Aw, L.T.'s complaining and whining.' But that's when I started to see what was going on."

    He says it in a way that confirms the observations of Rivers and Gates. After his 2006 MVP season, Tomlinson seemed to believe that he had acquired a lifetime entitlement to a spot on the roster, a position at the top of the depth chart, a contract at the high end of the running back market, and 30 touches per game. (And if he didn't get any of those things, he was going to hold his breath.)

    That's not the way it works in a team sport. The Chargers transitioned to a passing-based offense because: (1) they have an elite quarterback; and (2) the elite quarterback has a lot more left in the tank than L.T.

    Like him or not, Philip Rivers also handles adversity a lot better. When Tomlinson banged up his knee in a postseason game, he headed for the empty end of the bench. When Rivers tore an ACL, he kept playing.

    Though we continue to disagree with the manner in which the Chargers are handling the holdouts of left tackle Marcus McNeill and receiver Vincent Jackson, Rivers has played quite well the role of company man, making no waves about the fact that his blind side won't be as secure as it could be. We can only imagine the things that Tomlinson would be saying if he were still on the team -- and if he were being asked to enter the season minus 20 percent of his wall of blockers and one of the downfield weapons that prevent safeties from cheating up into the box.

    Tomlinson now will try to prove that the Chargers gave up on him too soon. Jets coach Rex Ryan, who has a bad habit of blindly heaping praise on all of his players, thinks the Chargers blew it.

    "We've got a great back in LaDainian, he's tremendous," Ryan said. "Does he look like he's through? Absolutely not."

    Just as comments like that have served only to make cornerback Darrelle Revis want more money, we predict that Tomlinson will be sulking behind his visor if he isn't the workhorse in the Jets' backfield.

    And he won't be. Whether he realizes it or not, Tomlinson's primary job if to take some touches away from rising star Shonn Greene. If successful, Tomlinson will prevent Greene from generating the kind of numbers that eventually could make him behave like, well, Tomlinson.
     
  2. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    LaDainian Tomlinson is out to show that he has plenty of mileage left

    Los Angeles Times
    By Sam Farmer
    August 14, 2010

    Reporting from Cortland, N.Y. —

    Some visuals just take getting used to. It was that way with Brett Favre in purple, or Donovan McNabb in burgundy. And it's that way with LaDainian Tomlinson in New York Jets green, a guy who for so long was synonymous with the San Diego Chargers.

    For Tomlinson, it isn't odd at all. He says he saw his road coming to an end in San Diego at least a couple of years ago.

    "I'm not going to say I wasn't happy, but I started to see my departure out of San Diego way before you guys did," he told a reporter during a break between training-camp practices. "I could sense it. I started to make a little gripe about running the ball more, and people thought I was crazy. 'Aw, LT's complaining and whining.' But that's when I started to see what was going on."More on what Tomlinson thinks was going on in a moment. But he also conceded for the first time that he was stung by the recent comments of his former teammates, quarterback Philip Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates, who zinged him a bit in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

    "I thought they were my guys," Tomlinson said. "People always say, and my family has said it to me, that you know who your real friends are when you're at your lowest point and you don't have a job or whatever. And guys, they said what they felt, whether they were taking shots at me or really just saying what they felt needed to be said."

    The statements by Rivers and Gates were not overly critical, just very candid remarks from players who typically have gone out of their way to be respectful of Tomlinson and what he has accomplished.

    Of not having the running back in camp, Rivers told the newspaper: "I don't know how everyone feels or if they felt it. Maybe it was a little bit of relief. Maybe it's a feeling of, 'I can do a little more without wondering what he thinks.' "

    According to Gates, "Sometimes you would get the sense that people felt bigger than the team. Not to say it was an issue, but we know it's not an issue for sure now."

    Not so long ago, no one in the league was bigger than Tomlinson. He won the NFL rushing title in consecutive years (2006 and 2007) and in 2006 he was named the league's most valuable player, set the single-season record with 28 rushing touchdowns and probably secured a spot in the Hall of Fame.

    In the last two seasons, however, Tomlinson quickly went from exceptional to expendable. He has rushed for 100 yards in two of his last 35 games (including the playoffs), has seemed to go down easier with first contact and has lacked the familiar burst that marked the first six-plus years of his career. He became just another offensive weapon. The team grew to rely on undersized Darren Sproles in clutch situations and left Tomlinson on the sideline, an unthinkable decision a year or two earlier.

    There were injuries along the offensive line, and that unit didn't play as well last season as it had in the past, but few people anticipated such a sharp drop-off from the superstar running back.

    Tomlinson, 31, shrugs off the notion that he might have simply hit a physical wall, as a lot of running backs do when they reach 30. He is convinced that the Chargers decided two years ago he wasn't in their plans.

    "Obviously, they had to start to build that team around Philip and get the guys they needed around him," he said. "I didn't fit that. That's why I kind of found myself on the outside looking in, and looking for work after this past season."

    For his part, Tomlinson felt iced by Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith, and he said at his charity golf tournament in the spring that he would have a hard time retiring as a Charger if Smith is with the team at that point. In his interview with The Times this week, Tomlinson again implied that the deterioration in their relationship paved his way out of town.

    "In my mind, I knew it was starting to come to an end and eventually it would happen where I would leave," he said. "I saw it with Junior Seau, I saw it with Rodney Harrison, I saw it with Drew [Brees].

    "It was a bit of an upstairs thing [a reference to Smith's second-story office at team headquarters]. It was a business thing. It would be hurtful if that organization didn't have a track record of doing that. That would be hurtful. But when you've seen it time and time again with guys that you've played with, and you see them leave town and you wonder why."

    Although Smith declined to comment for this story, it's obvious the Chargers feel better about their ability to run the ball now than they did last season, when they ranked 31st in the league in rushing. That's not because they somehow augmented the offensive line. It's because they traded up from 28th to 12th in the draft to select Fresno State running back Ryan Mathews.

    That sets the stage for a fascinating comparison. Mathews goes to a team that was terrible running the ball last season. Tomlinson goes to last season's No. 1 rushing team, one that sees him as a complement to feature back Shonn Greene. Will the Chargers get better running the ball? Will the Jets be as good as they were?

    Is Tomlinson one of those rare backs who has something left in his 30s? Or is the suggestion that he was pushed aside in San Diego just spin to explain away his decline?

    So far, Tomlinson has turned some heads at Jets camp. In a scrimmage this week, he found himself matched up against a linebacker on a go route down the sideline. Quarterback Mark Sanchez hit him in stride for a 70-yard touchdown.

    "We've got a great back in LaDainian, he's tremendous," Jets Coach Rex Ryan said. "Does he look like he's through? Absolutely not."

    Tomlinson knows, though, that the final measure of success won't be a big play in training camp or a heartfelt testimonial from his new coach.

    "You can't talk about it, you can't disprove [critics] in that way," Tomlinson said. "You've just got to go out and perform on the field. That's the only way it can be done. That's where I am now."
     
  3. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    "Like him or not, Philip Rivers also handles adversity a lot better. When Tomlinson banged up his knee in a postseason game, he headed for the empty end of the bench. When Rivers tore an ACL, he kept playing."


    This is a horseshit comment. LT injured his MCL, which is a bigger deal for a RB than it is for a QB. He stepped aside because he knew it would negatively affect our running game, and he let a perfectly capable backup in Michael Turner take over.

    I'm not the biggest fan of LT right now, but I'll defend him on that one.
     
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  4. Ride The Lightning

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

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    stopped reading here
     
  5. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    Ohhhhh I missed that. :lol: Makes sense now.
     
  6. ThunderHorse17

    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

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    I didnt even bother to read any of it beyond I thought they were my guys.

    OMFG can both parties Chargers and LT jus knock it the f off already. Oyea NY media will do what they want and twist any kind of interview they can their way.
     
  7. Boltergeist

    Boltergeist BoltTalker

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    well put.....On the flip side, I've been a pretty staunch defender of LT, but the continued jibba jabba is getting really old...especially when he keeps repeating that he has nothing more to say about the Chargers and has moved on....and then subsequently feeds the media with another nugget like this one.
     
  8. Boltzlover

    Boltzlover BoltTalker

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    I can defend him not playing, but not sitting on the bench with his helmet on by himself. He could have at least looked like he cared about the game.
     
  9. Boltergeist

    Boltergeist BoltTalker

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    You sound like a Patriots fan.
     
  10. chargerlipz

    chargerlipz Leading the league in nose hairs.

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    I don't think LT could have pulled off the same type of run that Ryan did yesterday. Specifically when he knock Dielman down then the Bear defender and still ran for 18 yards.
    LT might have been able to do that 5 years ago, but not now. LT probably thinks he still could though.:no:
     
  11. TheBeast

    TheBeast BoltTalker

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    This. The season is about to start, enough with the LT-Chargers articles.
     
  12. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    exactly. Its getting old LT this LT that. LT is acting like a little kid who is still jealous because his girlfriend broke up with him and she is now dating someone else.

    It is time to turn the page and get on with our lives!
     
  13. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    I reckon Tomlinson has taken a detour on his way to the high road.
     
  14. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    This.

    It's easy to sit at your computer desk and villainize a player for not playing on an injured knee, but I'm forced to wonder if these same people would be willing to play a contact sport with a torn MCL especially if it does more harm to the team than good.

    People are going to hate on LT no matter what. Had he played through the injury and it affected his play (as it most likely would have) these same idiots would be calling LT selfish for wanting to be part of the action when it would have been best for the team for him to take himself out.

    And you know what? Even had Rivers sat out with his blown out knee I wouldn't have faulted him. I don't expect anybody to play through injury. If they do, especially in an important playoff game, then I view it as a bonus but I don't fault them if they don't.

    Of course, that's a relatively generalized statement. I'd obviously question someone's desire if they sat out with a sore pinky or something.
     
  15. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    Is he feeding the media or is the media digging it out of him?

    I wish he'd say no comment, though. It is getting old.
     
  16. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    Thank about it from his perspective.

    He had accomplished just about anything there was to accomplish in the game except the ultimate goal, and now here he is one step away from that goal and he can't do anything to help his team advance.

    Yeah, I'd be a bit sore myself.
     
  17. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    I'd trade any of the three major injuries I've had for a sprained MCL any day. You or I have no idea of the truth pertaining to Tonlinsons injury, which may or may not have been a strain. So before you go holier than thou on the forum and pointing fingers, try walking in your own moccasins in rehab.
     
  18. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, you said it right there and that's precisely my point.

    I am not the one going holier than thou because I am not the one calling LT a ***** and/or calling his heart and dedication into question because he didn't play through the injury that you or I (or any of these other buffoons calling him out for not playing) have no idea of the truth pertaining to.
     
  19. Ride The Lightning

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

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    He's a classy guy. Just ask him. Or wait for him to tell you.
     
  20. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    It sure seems funny to me that on the day in question, Tomlinson lost this team and never could regain it back. I take that as a hint of those that know the truth, without coming out and throwing lt under the bus.

    Something happened and I believe we both can agree, Tomlinson lost the respect of his fellows. I suspect it had to do with his toughness and constant whining. It's a sad situation as player's like lt are hard to come by. Winslow shooting his mouth off at the end tarnished his stellar career with the Bolt's, now it appears lt is following the same path. It's sad to witness.
     
  21. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    I think the mouthing off and "whining" lost his connection more than the injury.

    I just have a hard time believing LT would sit out in that game considering what was on the line if he the injury wasn't so bad that he had to.

    The guy played through an injured rib at the end of a 4-12 season against the Raiders. Why would he puss out on the AFC Championship Game unless the injury really was that bad?
     
  22. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    When did girls start playing NFL football? :icon_shrug:

    Sorry ladies - no offense meant. :no:
     
  23. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    :icon_rofl:
     
  24. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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  25. Ride The Lightning

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

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  26. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    Eh. That was funny the first 10,259,693 times I saw it posted in response to a topic on LT.
     
  27. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    Tomlinson brought this all down on himself and won't let go. It's so sad to see him burn down the town that loved him as a son.
     
  28. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    We'll all forget it when he's enshrined in Canton. :icon_shrug:
     
  29. Boltdiehard

    Boltdiehard Well-Known Member

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    I'm very excited about Mathews after watching him run last night. :yes: :bolt:
     
  30. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't get old! Just like Kaeding jokes. :icon_tease:
     

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