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Teammates regret no title for LT

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by CoronaDoug, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Official Hater

    Feb 14, 2007
    Teammates regret no title for LT
    TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2010 AT 12:02 A.M.

    Shawne Merriman’s knowledge of San Diego’s football team was pretty limited when the Chargers drafted him in 2005.

    “I didn’t know anything about the Chargers except LaDainian Tomlinson,” Merriman said yesterday.

    It’s really not that far of a stretch to say that for a number of years in the past decade, that was the case for many football fans.

    There was a time when Tomlinson was the Chargers.

    That time has passed. It was not so this year and could be argued that the sun began setting on his day as the face of the franchise almost three years ago, after Norv Turner arrived as head coach, Philip Rivers began to emerge as one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks and a group of young receivers matured.

    Teammates yesterday lamented the man they will miss.

    “It’s the times in the locker room, on the bus, those things as much anything,” Rivers said.

    “You go back in that locker room,” Merriman said, “it’s going to be gut-wrenching to see he’s not there anymore.”

    Rivers and Tomlinson spoke a couple of weeks ago, and in that conversation Rivers expressed regret they didn’t win a championship while Tomlinson was a Charger.

    Yes, Tomlinson’s release had become an inevitability. And almost everyone involved, Tomlinson included, knew it was time.

    Tomlinson is scheduled to hold a news conference tomorrow, and he did not respond to a request to speak yesterday. But he told The Union-Tribune earlier this month that he expected to be released.

    “I’ve accepted it,” he said at the time.

    Yesterday, teammates expressed a similar sentiment.

    “It was a bad situation for him,” tight end Antonio Gates said. “It was time for him to move forward. He can go somewhere else and do great things to finish his career.”

    Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith said he felt “sick” as the official release of Tomlinson set in. It was not that Smith regretted the decision, just that it had to be made.

    “I remember a time when I was with Buffalo, and this same sick feeling hit me,” Smith said, referring to his time as the Bills’ assistant general manager. “In February 2000, we released three great players on the same day. Three Hall of Famers — two that are in Canton and one that should be: Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed and Bruce Smith.

    “You ask yourself, ‘Is there any way we can just keep going?’ And you know the answer is, ‘No.’ In your heart you say, ‘Let’s keep going.’ Professionally, you say, ‘We just can’t do that.’ ”

    Rivers reflected yesterday on having “the best view” for many of Tomlinson’s runs. Rivers was in his first season as the Chargers’ starter when Tomlinson set an NFL record with 31 touchdowns and rushed for 1,880 yards in his MVP year of 2006.

    “There were so many awesome runs that year,” Rivers said.

    But he recalled Tomlinson’s stiff-arm that dislodged St. Louis safety Oshiomogho Atogwe’s helmet as Tomlinson went on to race 38 yards for a touchdown.

    “He’ll be missed,” Rivers said. “What he’s meant to this team and this community for nine years, he’s made a lot of people happy.”

    Rivers, ever the optimist, and Gates both spoke of the future.

    “We’ll move forward as a team and keep fighting for a championship,” Rivers said. “It was a fun and awesome time (with Tomlinson). Now we’re going to move forward.”

    Tomlinson has said he will “definitely” keep playing and has designs only on a Super Bowl. Yet, there was a time he and legions of Chargers fans figured he would be in lightning bolts forever.

    “Time is a great healer,” Smith said. “You never, ever forget. You always remember the great accomplishments and incredible moments. We all would like to stay with one team for our entire career, win multiple Super Bowls, then retire on our own terms and ride off into the sunset.

    “When I say all of us, I mean front-office people, coaches and players. But in this NFL business, you won’t find many John Elway stories.”

    Now where is Nate Kaeding and his comments?
  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    So do I, but LT must bear as much responsibility as any other member of this organization for there being no championship during his time here.

    It's a shame but he's not the only nor will he be the last great player to not win a championship.

    Oh wait ..... there's still a chance as a Pat. :tdown:
  3. Concudan

    Concudan Meh... Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 5, 2006
    I cant say that any one player should bear the burden of no championships. One bounce here, dropped pass there, missed F'in field goal or two and the game is over.

    LT made the team better. No doubt. He is older, and understandably frustrated. He is seeing his career wind down and is probably worried that he will never play in the big game.

    What sucks is the team lost LT, but the community lost a leader who really helped the people who needed it. I respect LT more for what he did off the field than on.
  4. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    God, it feels like a phuckin funeral.

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