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L.T. says Chargers are OK

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/7039664" target="_blank">Fox Sports</a>

    By Adam Schein

    <img src="http://www.cbc.ca/cp/football/070108/f010811A.jpg" title="Ladainian Tomlinson" alt="Ladainian Tomlinson" align="left" height="253" width="194" />The feeling of joy and budding optimism during a conversation with NFL MVP LaDainian Tomlinson was momentarily zapped when I asked one simple question.

    Are you over the loss to the Patriots in the playoffs last year?

    "It took the entire offseason working out with the team. Honestly, talking about it with guys, talking about it with the staff, going over what we could've done, it helped. But it also made us really fired up and focused on the prize this year. I am just finally now to the point where I am getting over it."

    And if you are a Chargers fan, this is a good thing.

    Tomlinson, in a 15-minute interview yesterday, was pretty giddy about the upcoming campaign. He really believes he can match his 31 total touchdowns, his 1,815 rushing yards, and the Chargers can once again make the playoffs. He loves his teammates and is excited that the band is back together for another legit run at the Super Bowl. Last year's jarring home playoff loss to New England not only sparked the unceremonious dismissal of Marty Schottenheimer as coach, but it made Tomlinson and his fellow Chargers even hungrier.

    Like everyone associated with the Chargers, Tomlinson was stunned when Schottenheimer was axed. But he also likes what he sees from new head coach Norv Turner.

    "He understands that we have a good team and we are going to win games in the regular season. His focus is how we are going to do against the good teams. His focus is not making foolish and bone-head mistakes in big games and in playoff games. He is going to be more focused on what we are going to do in the playoffs."

    And if nothing else, Turner is a quarterback guru. Philip Rivers, who didn't surprise Tomlinson with his consistent and stellar play as a first-time starter, should get even better.

    Tomlinson told us, "Philip is a very smart quarterback. He is a guy who learns fast. He has all the intangibles that make you a great quarterback and he loves to compete. And I could see that for years here even when he wasn't playing. He doesn't want to lose. Ever. Philip picks up things so quickly during the week and adjusts so well during games. I can't wait to see his development under Norv."

    But what about the guys he'll throw to?

    Said Tomlinson: "Vincent Jackson is ready to take over. I really believe that from what I have seen this off-season. People keep forgetting about Malcolm Floyd. If he is healthy, he's a weapon. Eric Parker is still here. And also, watch what happens with Antonio Gates. He is already a premier tight end but you just watch what happens this year with Antonio under Norv."

    Fantasy players here on FOXSports.com are gearing up for their drafts and Tomlinson is going to be No. 1 overall in nearly every draft after last season.

    And he thinks he can duplicate those numbers.

    "I just want to be consistent. That's the way I approach it. Yeah, there are going to be years better than others. Was last year a bench mark or a career year? I don't know. I would like to think that I can do it again, that we as a team and running attack can do it again. Anything is possible. I think the numbers can be approached again."

    Tomlinson couldn't stress enough how much he loves his linemen. The running back was tickled that Kris Dielman took less money to rejoin the Chargers offensive line. He loves the rapid development of Marcus McNeill and the excellent play of Pro Bowl center Nick Hardwick. And Tomlinson adds that the main reason he feels confident is the chemistry on the offensive line.

    "It starts with the guys up front. With the experience and continuity we have with each other, we succeed. We care about each other. That's so important when it comes to team success. The linemen care about each other and care about blocking for me and protecting Philip. Antonio cares about making plays to take the pressure off of the running game. That helps Philip on play action. I'm telling you. This stuff goes a long way."

    But will it be enough to go a long way to Arizona and the Super Bowl?

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