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Tomlinson: Well worth the money

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a href="http://www.pe.com/sports/football/stories/PE_Sports_Local_D_2_chargers_side_03.900d6bb.html" target="_blank">Press-Enterprise</a>

    BY PAUL KENYON

    FOXBORO -- In the salary-cap era in the NFL, it is vitally important that teams make the right decision when they decide to hand out the big money. In the case of LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego is resting easy that it has done exactly that.

    The Chargers made Tomlinson the highest-paid running back in the league in the summer of 2004, when they signed him to a contract extension reported to be worth about $60 million. That included $21 million in guaranteed money for the former TCU star, who was then about to begin his fourth season.

    Anyone who was at Gillette Stadium yesterday can see why San Diego general manager A. J. Smith thinks Tomlinson is the best in the business at what he does.

    The 5-foot-10 221-pounder carried the ball 25 times for 134 yards, and scored on touchdown runs of 8 yards and 1 yard, to spark the Chargers over New England, 41-17.

    Tomlinson ran over tacklers, as he did to linebacker Monty Beisel on his first touchdown run, and ran around others as he scored in his 16th straight game. The only runner ever to have a longer streak is Hall of Famer Lenny Moore, who scored in 19 straight for the Colts.

    Tomlinson was asked about his streak yesterday, and insisted it is not something he thinks about. Rather, he likes to spend his time studying film, which he said was a major factor in his success against the Patriots.

    Tomlinson's favorite move yesterday, one he used at least a half-dozen times, was to take a handoff, begin in one direction, then quickly cut back the other way. It was a plan designed to get Vince Wilfork, New England's nose tackle, to head in what would be the wrong direction.

    "That was something I noticed on film," he explained. "I saw that if we could get back and cut off Wilfork, it would open up a big hole. It all depended on [center Nick Hartwick] being able to get back and cut off Wilfork. If he could do that, I knew we could get it back.

    "The center has to cut him off. It's critical," Tomlinson said. "We have a center like Nick, who's quick enough to get that block done."

    Tomlinson said his entire offensive line "did a great job controlling the line of scrimmage."

    Things were going so well all day that the team hardly changed anything at the half.

    "We made a couple of adjustments, nothing too big," he said. "We felt like what we were doing was working. We just came out and continued with the tempo."

    Things went so well for Tomlinson and the Chargers that he sat out much of the fourth quarter.

    "In a game like that, we were up by two touchdowns. I'm not the type of person to just try and pad my stats," Tomlinson said. "We're going to need Michael Turner, and he's going to need some experience."

    Turner came in, carried 11 times and added 44 yards. He looked good, too. Not in the same class as Tomlinson, but pretty good.
     

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