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Tomlinson healthy, happy

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Casey Pearce
    Posted Dec 31, 2009

    LaDainian Tomlinson has proudly kept an important streak alive this season: his 12 touchdowns mean he’s in double digits for all nine of his years in the NFL.

    Earlier this season when Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson[​IMG] passed Marcus Allen to take sole possession of third place on the NFL’s all-time total touchdown list, he said that the milestone was special to him.
    “When you’re scoring touchdowns, you’re usually helping your team win games,” Tomlinson said. “That one really means something.”
    For the first time in his nine-year career, Tomlinson will not reach the 1,000-yard rushing mark, but he has kept another streak alive, and it’s helped the Chargers immensely. He’s scored 12 touchdowns, making him the only player in NFL history with at least 10 scores in nine-consecutive seasons.
    And more importantly to him, the Chargers are 8-0 this season in games in which LT finds the end zone.
    Tomlinson is tied for third in the NFL in rushing touchdowns and seventh in total touchdowns. He’s done so with significantly fewer carries than he’s ever had. Due in part to Darren Sproles[​IMG]’ role and part to the fact that he missed two games to injury for the first time in his career, LT enters Sunday’s regular-season finale with 221 rushes, 71 fewer than his previous career low.
    But those numbers also mean that Tomlinson has endured less wear and in turn enters January feeling spry.
    “I haven’t been taking the same amount of shots that I have in past seasons,” Tomlinson said. “I’ve been able to stay fresh throughout the year. I haven’t really been beat up or tired, other than that first game where I injured my ankle. Besides that, I’ve been great.”
    The fact that Tomlinson is feeling great this time of year is partially the result of a goal Head Coach Norv Turner set this season, and he’s accomplished it by mixing Tomlinson and Sproles.
    “One of our big things, and we’re a week away from doing it, was to have LT healthy first and fresh going into the playoffs and to have LT and the running game making that kind of progress,” Turner said. “Obviously we started slow running the ball. We had injuries on the line, LT missed two games, but over the last 10 games and over the last five games our running game has been more than effective and it’s a big part of what we do.”
    While the rushing numbers on the season aren’t where they have been in recent years, Turner sees the effect Tomlinson, Sproles and company are having on an offense that has scored the second most points in the NFL this season.
    “When we run the ball and have the threat of the run, it allows our big-play people on the outside and Philip (Rivers) to have a chance to make the plays,” Turner said. “We lead the NFL in average yards per completion and we’re up there pretty high (8.84). That’s a pretty impressive average.”

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