LaDainian Tomlinson will officially end his excellent 11 year career on Monday afternoon as a San Diego Charger. Tomlinson spent nine years with the Chargers and his final two with the New York Jets. LT finishes with 13,684 rushing yards ranking him fifth all-time. He also finishes with 145 rushing touchdowns ranking him second all time. The future Hall of Fame running back was consistently dominant throughout his tenure with San Diego, leading the league in rushing in back to back seasons (06 and 07). San Diego selected Tomlinson #5 overall in the 2001 draft. That fall as a rookie LT rushed for 1,236 yards and 10 touchdowns. He had one of the greatest stretches we may ever see out of a running back in NFL history. From 2001-2008 he averaged 1,470 rushing yards, and 15.75 rushing touchdowns a season. Tomlinson’s most impressive season came in 2006 where he earned MVP honors. He rushed for a career high 1,815 yards and set a single season record with 28 rushing touchdowns.
That’s just with his feet. What made Tomlinson so great was his versatility. LT is known as one of the best receiving running backs of all-time. He became the second running back to catch 100 balls in a single season in 2003. LaDainian got a lot of respect around the league for his versatility. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis sent out a statement shortly after Tomlinson decided to hang em’ up by saying “LT changed the way the running back position is looked at. You think about him being a complete three-down back and using that as a receiver as well. You hadn’t seen that many backs have that type of versatility. He was one of those backs that you had to get in position on all downs on the ball. I think that’s the way he really changed the game.” Tomlinson also received praise from former teammates and coaches. Philip Rivers said he had “the best seat in the house every game”. Former head coach Marty Shottenheimer said “The more I was around him, the more I became convinced he is the best I’ve ever seen,” Schottenheimer said. “My timeline goes back to probably Jim Brown. I imagine that there were some terrific backs before that, but Jim Brown was the guy I always viewed as being the best all time.”
My favorite LaDainian Tomlinson statistic is his passing stats. Tomlinson ends his Hall of Fame career 8 for 12 passing. 7 of those pass completions resulting in a touchdown. In 2005 LT threw 3 touchdown passes.
Tomlinson ends his career at a young age of 32. Although LT is now known as one of the greatest running backs of all time he, much like every other running back, couldn’t avoid wear the wear and tear a full workload puts on the human body.
LT was one hell of a running back and simply electrifying whenever he touched the ball. He is a sure fire Hall of Famer and will be inducted come 2017.
Conner “Country Breakfast” Patch @connerpatch68