“He is the greatest runningback to ever wear an NFL jersey”
Thats how San Diego Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer described his all star runningback during the post game press conference after the Chargers had defeated the Denver Broncos, 48-20 Sunday afternoon. LaDainian Tomlinson had his seventh consecutive multi-touchdown performance this week, scoring 3 TDs en route to breaking Shaun Alexander’s record of 28 from just one year ago. By the way, the Chargers have won 7 straight…coincidence?…don’t think so. LT is also on pace to break Paul Hornung’s single season scoring record of 176 points that has lasted for over 4 decades. Tomlinson currently has 174 points with 3 games remaining, ensuring that the record will definately be broken barring any unforseen circumstances.
Schottenheimer brought up a very interesting question. How great is LT? When history looks back on all the great NFL runningbacks of the last century, where will LaDainian’s rightful place be? Tomlinson is the best NFL back of his generation and deserves to be honored as such. He combines breakaway speed, a big/strong frame, great hands and agility with an understanding of the game that very few in the NFL can match. His career statistics (so far) are unprecedented. Through 6 seasons and 92 games, LT has racked up 8788 yards rushing, a 4.4 yds/carry avg and 98 touchdowns. He has also caught the ball 394 times for 2871 yards and 11 touchdowns while throwing for 126 yards and 6 touchdowns. He is leading the Chargers to a division title, a first round bye in the playoffs and a potential trip to the superbowl by displaying unbelievably great talent and even better leadership. He is piling up the statisitcs and breaking all the records and hes doing it without running his mouth to the media or tarnishing his image in the most ridiculous and obscene ways…and you have got too respect him for it.
I can only hope that when history looks back on LT, he will not only be remembered for his unbelievale accomplishments on the field but for the respect and admiration he drew from his fans and peers while doing it.