Tomlinson Unhappy With Role in '09 But Not Ready To Retire Yet

In an interesting interview with San Diego radio station Double X 1090 AM, Ladainian Tomlinson answered a number of questions, including his perceived role on the Chargers, whether or not he has played his last game in San Diego, and if retirement is in his near future.

In the interview, a dejected Tomlinson came clean on a variety of issues, not the least of which was his unhappiness with his role on the Chargers of 2009. LT clearly stated that every year's team is different, and while he had a career low in production, he wasn't happy with the number of opportunities afforded to him this past season.

"I think I did the things that I could do with this year's team," explains Tomlinson. "Every year, whatever the team needed me to do I gave my heart and soul to it. Whether it was giving me the ball 350 times and another 50-70 times catching the ball, I played my heart and soul for this team. But this year, I wasn't asked to do that type of stuff. My numbers were as low as they've ever been. So I felt that I did what I could, with this team."

So was Tomlinson used correctly this year? Was he happy with his role?

"No I wasn't," Tomlinson says. "I wasn't happy. No one is going to be happy with the least touches of their career. I don't know any running back that would be happy with that. Absolutely not, I wasn't happy with not touching the ball as much as I thought I would."

Given the direction of the Chargers offense, will Tomlinson be back in a Chargers uniform next year?

"I can't really answer that right now to be fair. I need to give myself a little more time before I could really say," says Tomlinson.

Is retirement something LT is considering at this time?

"No, I'm not ready to retire," states Tomlinson. "I still love the game. I have a lot of passion for the game, and I feel like I can contribute to it. So no, not at this time. I'm still chasing the dream of winning a championship. That's the number-one goal. You put your body through a lot to play this game, but you want to win a championship at some point and be able to know what it feels like to hold that trophy."

And as far as restructured contracts go, would LT consider taking less money?

"Nope," Tomlinson flatly replies.

SOURCE: Double X Sports Radio


Does hearing this interview change your perspective on the matter? Do you feel strongly that the Chargers keep or let go of Tomlinson? I'd really be interested in hearing your take, join the conversation in the comments section below.

January 23, 2010

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Anonymous said... Jan 22, 2010, 10:09:00 PM

It sounds as if the interview answers just poured concrete into all the "lines in the sand" around L.T.'s time left here in San Diego, and probably the whole NFL. It would be hard to believe that any NFL club would pay L.T. $5,000,000+ for another year and a promise of being a featured running back. Worse yet, L.T.'s "Nope" in regard to any notion of restructuring his contract again in trade for opportunities to pad his (great) career numbers drives the final nail in the deal.
Thank you for many, many wonderful memories here LaDainian, but even IF the Chargers somehow would allow you and the contract to stay; where are your new and better blockers going to come from?!? L.T. would still be without a top-quality fullback and a whole right side of the O-line who has yet to demonstrate they can run block! That, and there's no time to wait while they might develope for L.T. either. It's done.
But if God's a football fan, I'd still love to see L.T. smiling and holding up the Lombardi trophy somewhere next year. Best of luck friend.

Anonymous said... Jan 22, 2010, 10:19:00 PM

Maybe there's a chance of Tomlinson landing in New Orleans with the Saints next year, reunited with Drew Brees? Maybe an interesting thought if (?) somehow the artificial turf can make an aging L.T. a little quicker? Hmmmm.
You know they'd love to work together again, and L.T. is still pretty good at quick "out" patterns, and Reggie's knee needs resting too. Hmmm.
A thought.

Anonymous said... Jan 22, 2010, 10:53:00 PM

Sad to see LT's last days here in San Diego. It's a joy to watch him play, and I'll hate and love to watch him play somewhere else next year.

Good luck LT, I hope you get your ring. I just wish it was in a Charger uniform.

Anonymous said... Jan 23, 2010, 12:31:00 AM

The only way I can see LT staying is if they let go of Sproles and Tolbert and pick up a 3rd round power back to take his place in plays up the gut not to mention be mentored by such a great player. Otherwise, I want to see how AJ can work a miracle this off-season.

Anonymous said... Jan 23, 2010, 1:14:00 AM

I thought common sense would have LT call it quits. Then as the Chargers go into week-13 or-14 of the season, they bring him back (ala Patriots did with Junior Seau for their playoff run) - for his leadership, experience, desire and hopefully "fresher" legs. He still knows how to get into the endzone in the redzone.

Avenger-in-Chief said... Jan 23, 2010, 10:25:00 AM

LT won't take less money but the minute he gets let go he'll be forced to take less from another team. If he was smart he'd check his ego (which I'm sure is difficult in dealing with someone like AJ)and go try and work something out to stay a Charger.

Overall, I don't know if it's the best thing for the Chargers to have LT for next season. I definitely know you can't keep him at a ridiculous price tag of $7 million. I do know that LT has ZERO chance of challenging Emmit Smith's rushing record but that he can still accrue TDs. If he sacrifices A LOT of $$$ in the short term he can keep the Super Bowl hope alive with the Chargers....the team he'll be entering the HOF as a member of. He can also continue to satisfy his desire to pad his TD numbers. If I was LT I'd swallow my pride because he's currently in a place that has a chance to go all the way.

But like I said....I don't know if having LT is best for SD. Unless they get a power back, I know it's not. In any case, if we bid him farewell in these coming months, I wish him good luck, and a heartfelt thank you....but if he goes to the Raiders or the Patriots, he's dead to me!

Anonymous said... Jan 23, 2010, 10:50:00 AM

What is even more troubling than recognizing that L.T.'s feet are a micro-second slower or he can't break tackles like he used to, is seeing what the current Chargers whole offense is designed for; the pass. It is an irresistable capitulation to recent NFL rules that greatly benefit the aerial game, Norv's own background, and the Chargers abundance of the one overriding quality among their receivers; height.
LaDainian's skills are both obviously diminished and STILL (IMO) of NFL quality. But every jewel needs its setting to show well, and the Chargers offensive design and L.T. are just not a match anymore, unless the Bolts suddenly decide to jettison the younger Sproles completely.
A.J. would obviously be an idiot to do that without some other equally dynamic prospect "in hand" (under contract), and that prospect is surely not Hester (although he was great on Special Teams this year). And the bottom line is that namimg other potential running backs in the draft to replace L.T. won't mean a thing unless the Chargers do (at least) most of several things:
(1) Greatly upgrade the breadth of skills in their O-line.
(2) Upgrade the breadth of offensive designs in the Bolt running game, regardless of exactly who the running backs may be. Right now, everything (I mean the whole success of the franchise) hinges on the vulnerable knees (one in a brace) of one Philip Rivers, and that is not a good situation. The Chargers could go from first to worst on any play.
I don't care if they call it Wildcat, Wild-frog, or Wild-whatever; the Chargers need to stay ahead of the curve, and it's obvious from watching most of the teams left in the playoffs that the Chargers passing attack is not singularly rare.
(3) And while their at it: Upgrade the breadth of offensive designs in the Bolt PASSING game too. As it stands now, it's obvious that (for whatever sad reasons) Vincent Jackson is just not "stable" enough to depend on, between the ears. And although VJ is (supposedly) highly intelligent and supremely talented, that area between the ears is the Great Equalizer. VJ has failed the most basic tests for poise and responsibility (as have S. Phillips, Kaeding, and Cromartie) under pressure, and needs to be replaced ASAP. Malcom Floyd is an equally tall and gifted bookend receiver, but too physically fragile to depend on throughout and entire season and playoffs. Nanee is intriguing but still unproven, and Chambers is long gone. That leaves the great Antonio Gates double and triple-covered, and welcome to the basement.
Please tell me how I'm wrong about all this..., I'd love to be wrong.

Stephen said... Jan 28, 2010, 2:13:00 PM

VJ has to stay. He has proven himself on the field as a top 10 nfl reciever and you don't just give that up. LT can still block and catch which is what we need our RB to do for our passing game.

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