Tomlinson Says He's Healthy, Strong, And Fast

Ladainian Tomlinson
For years Ladianian Tomlinson has been one of the most prolific offensive weapons in the National Football League. In his first seven seasons in the NFL, Tomlinson was unstoppable in his claim of pro football's record books. Approaching each season with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove, LT erased all doubts that he would go down in history as one of the game's all-time greats. But as he approaches the stigmatic age of 30, Tomlinson again finds himself having to prove the doubters wrong.

LT has set the bar so high for running backs in the NFL, that even he is finding it difficult to constantly meet such stratospheric expectations. Held back by nagging injuries last year, Tomlinson could never really find his stride. Couple that with his head coach's new approach to the Chargers offense, and it's not hard to see why LT's production was the lowest of his illustrious career.

“I think, in my case, it’s been two of the most unfortunate injuries that a guy can go through. A lot of times what happens is guys start to have the nagging injuries, the chronic injuries is what they call them; the certain things that just continue to keep bothering you. I haven’t had that problem. As of right now, I’m fully healthy, I’m strong again, fast. All the things I used to do before my injury, I’m able to do without a problem. I really don’t put too much stock in the age factor because when you can play the game and you still got it, you still got it. I definitely still got it but that’s for me to prove and I can’t wait to get on the field so I can do that.”

Those skeptical that Tomlinson can indeed bounce back and have another Pro Bowl-caliber year point to the inevitable fact that LT is going to be a 30 year old running back in a league that traditionally hasn't been kind to ball carriers who've lived for three decades or more. But LT simply sees the question of age as another opportunity to prove the doubters wrong.

“I’ve stayed healthy, played every single game, put up huge numbers. The last two years it could have happened to anybody. It could have happened my first year, it could have happened my second year and the talk would have been, “He just needs to get healthy, they just need to keep him healthy.” But now since I’m approaching 30, that’s the stigma that everybody fights. All the great ones, they fight this. I can’t argue with that but I still feel like I’m in great shape and healthy.”

There's no question that Tomlinson is not your typical running back. Indeed, Tomlinson is a rare breed who's among the best to ever play. Already a sure-fire inductee into Canton's Pro Football Hall of Fame, there are still accomplisments that LT strives to achieve before retiring; winning the Super Bowl and breaking childhood hero Emmit Smith's rushing record.

“It’s something that’s there and as I get closer to the record, I definitely want to chase it. Life in the NFL is so short and so many great things happen and I just want to take every opportunity and advantage I have playing this game and not take anything for granted. When I’m done, I can always look myself in the mirror and say, “You know what, I gave it everything I had and I did it the right way.”

Does Tomlinson have a legitimate shot at the record, or will his carries continue to decline as the league moves towards a running-back-by-committee approach? Would you like to see LT break the rushing record, even if that means he has to do so on another team? Or would you rather he retire a Charger and never wear another team's uniform?

Hat tip to Jimmy Shapiro's blog

June 5, 2009

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HITMAN_23 said... Jun 4, 2009, 9:44:00 PM

I would hate to see LT break the record in another team's uniform but the fact is there are plenty of teams out there who would jump on LT in a second if he ever hit the open market.

ChargersPadsFan said... Jun 5, 2009, 1:02:00 PM

LT will continue to enjoy a long career because he has been smart with his body. He doesn't take unnecessary hits and is one of the smartest players on the field. I think he could play another 5 years and continue to put up big numbers.

Anonymous said... Jun 5, 2009, 9:16:00 PM

If there is one thing I've learned about LT in all my years watching the man, it's to never put anything past him. He has accomplished things only few have ever or will ever accomplish in their lives. GO LT!!

Neoplatonist Bolthead said... Jun 6, 2009, 2:08:00 PM

LT will always be a Charger, man. There's no way they're letting him go, no matter what happens this year. But he'll blow everyone away again. He's got a few years left in the tank.

Go LT!

GPY said... Jun 7, 2009, 9:08:00 AM

He's am enigma.....end of story

LT best RB EVER!

Anonymous said... Jun 8, 2009, 1:12:00 AM

LT has shown the nation and San Diego in particular how; a professional athlete should approach the game and his time in the spotlight.

I have seen LT fairly consistently in the off season and during the season. I have never witnessed him out of shape. After training camp and during the season he appears a little more cut but it is very obvious he takes excellent care of himself twelve months of the year. This is a young man who has lived an exemplary life in the fishbowl of professional sports excellence. I am confident he will do everything within his own power and disciple to continue to deliver brilliance.

Should he stay in San Diego? Is that a trick question? Of course he should finish his career as a Charger. His stats from last year would send ninety-five out of a hundred NFL running backs scurrying to their GM’s to demand a raise. We have become so soiled by LT’s superiority that we are blinded to common sense. The amazing thing is not that he has been dinged the last two seasons; the truly amazing thing has been his long term durability at such a remarkably high level of performance. Football is a dangerous sport. I hope and pray for LT’s good health. But I am absolutely convinced LT will do his part with dedicated conditioning and preparation. And that’s all each of us can do to succeed, our part.

Jeff Williams said... Jun 9, 2009, 7:41:00 PM

LT won't show his true emotions, but teammates are saying that LT is PISSED and he is going to light it up this year. I can't wait!

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