Florham Park, N.J. — Once the NFL’s most dangerous running back, LaDainian Tomlinson has cooled off since his prime years as a San Diego Charger. With his career sort of on the decline he seems to be comfortable with where he has ended up as well as his role as a Jet.
Tomlinson is entering into his eleventh year in the league and his role as a running back has changed greatly. He was the top back for the Chargers for many years but the tables have turned and the future Hall of Famer is accepting his new role without a problem.
“As I got later in my career, this is what I wanted to do. In order to take a role like this, you can’t have an ego. That’s not what it’s about for me.” Tomlinson said.
The new role that L.T. will be acquiring is kind of the man to rely on for third down situations and a sort of security blanket for the third year quarterback Mark Sanchez. Coach Ryan made it clear in his press conference earlier in the week that Tomlinson will be mainly used for those times.
Ryan said, “I want to keep L.T. fresh for third down responsibilty.”
Ryan was also asked about whether he believes Tomlinson will act as that security blanket for Sanchez this season, he replied, “Yeah absolutely. And the other thing , too, is L.T. is great at picking up protections. He’s smart, he’s recognized everything, and he does a great job in protection.”
The team is looking for the veteran to take on a leadership role and show the new kids on the block some things. Tomlinson has never had this opportunity since he was the star for so many years, but like the new role he is taking as a third down runner, he also takes this in stride, and so does Coach Ryan, saying, “That’s a great part of the game. Having those veteran players and that kind of presence really adds to your team.”
Even though he is going into his eleventh year as a pro at possibly the most brutal position, L.T. has no end in sight and made it clear today that he wants to return for the 2012-2o13 season. If not with the Jets, then any team that might need his services. Most teams in the NFL drool at a man with this kind of high level talent and who is most likely eating the biggest piece of humble pie in the entire league. He is a class act with skill that in his prime compared to many greats.
Tomlinson is not the only one that believes he has enough left in the tank for another season, Coach Ryan was asked about it today and said, “We know he does. He had almost 1,000 yards rushing last year. He played great in the playoffs, so we know he’s definitely got a lot left in the tank.”
L.T. deserves the respect he is being given by his Coach and teammates. The golden rule might reign true after all, treat people the way you want to be treated. Tomlinson is treating this situation with great respect and looking out for the team and not himself, he just wants to be at the top and win a SuperBowl.
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