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Scouts Inc.: Film shows LT on the decline

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]

    July 21, 2009 12:00 PM

    Posted by Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson

    It pains me to say it because I respect what he has accomplished a great deal, but LaDainian Tomlinson is heavily on the decline and the end is near for an all-time great running back. I base this on one thing -- film.

    Tomlinson clearly was injured to some degree throughout last season, and I really have no way of judging how severe those injuries were. Also, his offensive line declined to some degree as well in 2008. But the Tomlinson of old would have shined despite the blocking he received last season. He was that good in his prime. He is not that good now.


    As we enter 2009, there isn't a player I am more excited to see in the preseason than Tomlinson. All reports coming out of minicamp are extremely positive. But I want to see it on the field. However, this is a great player who has never needed the preseason and I would doubt we will get many glimpses of him until opening day. That is unfortunate from an evaluation standpoint, but there are some things about him that we do know. And most of them are no longer positive.

    First, he has taken a beating over the years. Despite his tremendous elusiveness and vision -- he rarely took big head-on shots -- the wear is beginning to deteriorate his once massive skill set.

    He no longer explodes out of his cuts like he once did. He rarely breaks long runs -- one of the very first things to go in a great running back. His trademark jump cuts are not what they once were. He doesn't make your jaw drop in the open field and doesn't move the pile as he once did. Some of this can be attributed to his toe injury, but last year's Tomlinson is more of what we will see than the great Tomlinson of the past. At this point, he gets what is given to him and little more.

    Tomlinson eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark only twice last season, with a high of 106 yards. Those two games were against the Oakland Raiders and New Orleans Saints -- not exactly high-end run defenses. Tomlinson's eyes see the play to make, but his body can't finish it off. That is what happens when great players decline.

    Tomlinson's game isn't going to fall off a cliff; it should be a more gradual slide. His yards per carry declined in each of the past two years, dipping to a measly 3.8 in 2008. There will be fewer and fewer highlight runs -- even though he is now a part of a deadly passing offense that will pull defenders out of the box.

    The injuries probably will continue to be a problem -- that is simply what happens to running backs with the number of carries he has logged. A reduced workload -- giving way to Darren Sproles at times -- should do Tomlinson some good for the short term, but banking on him to be as durable as he once was would be unwise. He is now a complementary piece of an exceptional offense. Philip Rivers must be the central figure.

    He will continue to be productive. If you had to pick one running back who would get double-digit touchdowns this season, Tomlinson very well could be the choice. He is still an elite short-yardage runner and his competitiveness cannot be denied. He also remains an excellent pass-catching option. But make no mistake, he is declining and the Tomlinson of old is now just someone of the past. Someone we can only see on tape.

    Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.
     
  2. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

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    I appreciate their point. No running back is going to have the same explosiveness at 30 as they did at 23. But they preface the article by noting his injury and the offensive line problems last year then throw it the garbage...

    So he wasn't the same old Tomlinson on film when injured and behind a struggling offensive line? No ****. That's because he was injured and was running behind a struggling offensive line.

    The fact that "they saw it on film" does nothing to negate their first premise. They could have seen it on HD Ultra-High Speed 3-D Enhanced Jesus-Cam and he still would have been injured and running behind a struggling offensive line.
     
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  3. Thread_Killer

    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

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    All good points. And what the author fails to mention is that LT did have explosiveness in Week 16 when his toe was sufficiently healed. It was just terrible luck that LT got injured again, just when he was feeling right.
     
  4. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    LT will be just fine this year and I ain't buying into the hit 30 and now your on the Helter Skelter slide to the end. Remember you can always climb the ladder back up to the top of the slide.
     
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  5. chargerlipz

    chargerlipz Leading the league in nose hairs.

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    True, he was having an excellent game up until that point. I think he'll change some people's minds this coming season. He's still got it.
     
  6. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Yes he did. :tup: I think LT has a stiff arm or 2 left for the haters.
     
  7. LinksterAC

    LinksterAC BoltTalker

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    Tiki Barber, Curtis Martin, Emmitt Smith, Marcus Allen, Gary Payton. All greats at the position. All were elite runners after their 30th birthday. I'm not drinking this guy's kool-aid.
     
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  8. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    word...


    [​IMG]
     
  9. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Well said! Welcome to the forum!:tup:
     
  10. SD Native WY

    SD Native WY Well-Known Member

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    You know what they say about opinions....And everyone has one.....I would rather LT come back as an underdog than with a bunch of over hype he might not be able to live up too.

    But IMO LT is going to be Great in 2009!!!!!!!! :abq2:
     
  11. pure-sol

    pure-sol Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad I'm seeing this kind of stuff written. I can guarantee that not only is LT seeing and hearing these things, but so is the offensive line. Nothing gets an O-lineman more pissed off and amped up than hearing their elite RB isn't performing since that's a direct reflection on them.

    I foresee big things....
     
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  12. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    I wonder what they will say when LT comes back healthy this year. And is able to be spelled by sproles and the new guy to keep him fresh. Ahhh. Amazing comeback by ladanian tomlinson. :yes:
     
  13. Bolt-tastic voyage

    Bolt-tastic voyage BoltTalker

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    Here is Matt Williason's bio below in red...umm exactly what in here makes him qualified to determine whether or not LT is done? maybe it was his position with the Browns, Cuz we know how great they have been the past decade with all of there Super bowls & everything.:lol: the word on the street is that LT looks amazing and Merriman is HUGE! We're gonna tear it up this year.

    MATT WILLIAMSON
    NFL SCOUT

    Matt Williamson has been scouting football players at different levels for seven years. Before joining Scouts Inc. in 2005, he was both an NFL and college scout for the Cleveland Browns. Before that, he spent three seasons as assistant recruiting coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh and followed J.D. Brookhart from Pitt to the University of Akron, where Williamson was the director of football operations. He got his start at Metro Index Scouting Service, where he scouted high school players in the Pittsburgh area and also spent time with Duquesne University's football program.
     
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  14. Ride The Lightning

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

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    All stellar football programs there

    :icon_rofl:
     
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  15. TheLash

    TheLash Well-Known Member

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    :icon_toast:here's to that
     
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  16. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    word~

    that article is so full of bull-poo - of course he's not the same as when he was 23 - he's still 10x better than most any RB out there even when hurt!

    I can't wait for all the doubters to start changing their tune once LT proves them ALL wrong. :icon_twisted:
     
  17. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    We should all remember this crap so we can rub their noses in it as the season progresses. Might be natural to wonder if he is what he once was. No he is not. He's smarter, has more experience that he can plug into his instincts and he hasn't lost much speed when healthy-and he IS healthy. I can't wait to hear the announcers opening laments turn into sputtering disbelief.
     
  18. Zeus

    Zeus BoltTalker

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    I know Tom Brady was injured, but I look at the film...

    I saw Tom Brady missing more than half of his games, I mean where are the stats!

    When a player is injured you need to wait for an injury to end before saying they're declining.
     
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  19. sickswonnyne

    sickswonnyne Well-Known Member

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    Not to nit-pick, but u must mean Walter right?

    not [​IMG]
     
  20. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    This is like saying bread goes moldy when it gets old.

    Thanks Mr. Obvious.

    Bottom line is LT is still better than 90% of the runningbacks in the league.
     
  21. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Don't count out Tomlinson yet

    July 22, 2009 2:15 PM

    Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

    As part of an ESPN.com package on Chargers star running back LaDainian Tomlinson, Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. wrote that he believes the future Hall of Famer is on the decline.

    Williamson came to that conclusion, he wrote, after watching film of Tomlinson.

    Williamson's entry appeared on the AFC West blog on my final day of vacation (Tuesday). Understandably, many readers were confused and thought I penned the entry. Same last name (no relation, by the way), AFC West blog. It was an easy assumption to make.

    For the record, I'm not ready to write-off Tomlinson yet.

    First off, I truly respect Matt Williamson. He knows his stuff. I often use him as a resource. He has a keen eye.

    Ultimately, it's difficult to argue with Williamson's promise that the end is near for Tomlinson. He turned 30; that's an advanced age for running backs. Plus, he's battled recent injuries and his production dipped last season. It is clear Tomlinson doesn't have an unlimited amount of time remaining in his career.

    Still, I think he can be a productive player in 2009 for San Diego. If he can stay healthy and if his offensive line can stay healthy, there is no reason to believe Tomlinson can't be a 1,300-1,500-yard rusher this season. San Diego's offense is varied and Tomlinson is a savvy player. He will get his yards if he stays healthy.

    So, it may be a tad premature to write-off this player just yet.

    http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcwest/0-3-2454/Don-t-count-out-Tomlinson-yet.html
     
  22. SDRaiderH8er

    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    I hope he does have a great year, but we need to start looking for a replacement.
     
  23. LinksterAC

    LinksterAC BoltTalker

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    Whoops.
     
  24. LinksterAC

    LinksterAC BoltTalker

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    He's still better than all of them. You'll see.
     

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