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Tomlinson approaches another milestone

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Casey Pearce
    Posted Nov 26, 2009

    LaDainian Tomlinson has an opportunity to move past some big names on the NFL’s all-time rushing list Sunday when the Chargers host the Chiefs.

    Like many San Diegans, Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson will never forget the first time he saw Marshall Faulk carry a football.

    “The first time I saw Marshall was that Thursday night game when San Diego State played BYU,” Tomlinson said Wednesday. “That was when I fell in love with him. I thought he was the greatest running back ever.”

    Tomlinson’s introduction to the then San Diego State star came on a night Faulk rushed for 299 yards and three touchdowns in a nationally-televised ESPN game in September of 1992. LT was in eighth grade.

    Seventeen years later, Tomlinson has a chance to pass the future Hall of Famer on the NFL’s all-time rushing list. With 12,218 yards, LT enters Sunday’s game against the Chiefs ranked 12th in NFL history. He’s 25 yards behind Marcus Allen, 28 behind Edgerrin James and needs 62 yards to pass Faulk and move into ninth place on the list.

    Tomlinson has competed against James several times and knows Allen well. He holds both men in extremely high regard and owns autographed memorabilia from each of them. But with Faulk’s ties to San Diego and LT’s relationship with the former Aztecs, Colts and Rams star, he admitted that passing his good friend would be unique.

    “Marshall was a big mentor to me when I first came into the league,” Tomlinson said. “I spent a lot of time with him off the field. It will be pretty special.”

    Tomlinson is coming off his two best performances of the season. He rushed for a season-high 96 yards two weeks ago against Philadelphia and gained 73 yards in just over three quarters of play last week before turning over the reins to Darren Sproles, Jacob Hester and Mike Tolbert.

    His performance last week was part of a 203-yard effort from the Chargers. Tomlinson believes the running game, which was slowed by injuries to him and the offensive line early in the year, is finding its groove and getting into the all-important rhythm that LT regularly discusses.

    “It was as good as it’s been,” Tomlinson said of last weeks’ rhythm on the ground. “That was the rhythm. It was great to see and hopefully we can continue to build on that.”
    Should Tomlinson equal his season-high total he posted against the Eagles Sunday, he’ll experience another big moment. A 95-yard performance would push him past the legendary Jim Brown and into eighth place all time.

    Jackson returns

    Wide receiver Vincent Jackson (ribs) returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday’s drills. Defensive end Travis Johnson (groin) and linebacker Shaun Phillips (ankle), who often rested on Wednesday’s the last few weeks, also returned. Linebacker Shawne Merriman (foot) and defensive end Luis Castillo (calf) did not participate Thursday.

    Center Nick Hardwick was limited, and Head Coach Norv Turner said his return from ankle surgery is likely at least one more week away.

    Adjusted schedule

    The Chargers did work on the holiday, but Turner moved practice up two hours and cancelled post-practice meetings so that players could spend the afternoon with their families.

    Division wrap

    The Chargers play their final AFC West contest of the season Sunday when they host the Chiefs. It’s a rare occurrence that they wrap up their division slate so early in the season. They have played an AFC West opponent in six of their last eight regular-season finales. They haven’t finished division play this early in the season since 2000 when they played the Chiefs on Nov. 26.

    “It is unusual,” Turner said. “I don’t think I’ve been in a situation like this before.”

    A win Sunday would give the Chargers a 5-1 record in the division for the fourth-consecutive season. Since 2004, the Chargers are 27-8 (.771) in the division, including 4-1 in 2009. The Chargers are 12-0 against Oakland, 7-5 against Denver and 8-3 against the Chiefs. The Chargers’ 27 intra-division wins since ’04 are tied with New England for the most in the NFL. Indianapolis (26) and Pittsburgh (24) are next. Since the NFL realigned the divisions in 2002, the Chargers are the only team to win consecutive AFC West titles.

    Extending the record

    Chargers long snapper David Binn[​IMG] will play in his 250th regular season game Sunday. It’s the 741st game in team history, meaning Binn has been a part of more than one-third of the franchise’s games. In 2006, Binn became the franchise’s all-time leader in games played, a distinction Junior Seau and Russ Washington previously held.

    Extension received

    The Chargers received an extension from the NFL regarding the local television blackout. The team now has until 1 p.m. Friday to sell the remaining tickets, which number roughly 3,500. The Greatest Chargers will be honored prior to the game as the Chargers celebrate their 50th Anniversary Weekend. Tickets are available now at the Chargers’ ticket office at Gate C at Qualcomm Stadium, at www.Chargers.com and through TicketMaster at 800-745-3000
    Join the party
    You’ve still got time to purchase tickets to Friday’s 50th Anniversary Block Party, which will feature the introduction of the Greatest Chargers of all time.
    The Block Party will be the biggest football tailgate party of the year and will take place from 5-11 pm. Upon entering the Block Party at 5th and J Streets, guests will be treated to a strong musical lineup, including the pop group Fountains of Wayne, as well as an assortment of food and beverages options.
    Tickets are $35 and can be purchased by clicking here. Fans must be at least 21 to attend the Block Party
  2. cranberry

    cranberry BoltTalker

    Oct 3, 2006
    Great step for LT getting into the line of the 10 best rushers.

    And friends have a good time at the Block Party

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