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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
Tomlinson's remarkable career
One of the greatest careers in NFL history will come to an end tomorrow as LaDainian Tomlinson announces his retirement after 11 storied seasons. The future Hall of Famer will leave the league ranked fifth all-time with 13,684 rushing yards and second in rushing touchdowns with 145.
“There have been very few players in the NFL who have meant as much to their team as LT did during his career here,” said Head Coach Norv Turner. “In particular, his MVP season in 2006. It would be hard to find a back who’s led the league in rushing and caught over 100 balls in separate seasons. It speaks volumes to his abilities and what he was capable of doing.”
Tomlinson set or tied 28 team records during his nine-year stint in San Diego, including career rushing yards, rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns. One of the most electric Chargers to ever take the field, Tomlinson struck fear in the hearts of defenders every time he touched the ball. To his credit, those who tried in vain to bring him down every Sunday spoke glowingly about Tomlinson’s place in history.
“LT changed the way the running back is looked at,” said Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. “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.”
Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu echoed these sentiments.
“LaDainian had a tremendous impact on the NFL in his career. He was the prototype that everybody wanted their running back to be like… LaDainian was tough to defend. I wish I had the honor to play with him on a football team, other than the Pro Bowl teams. He’s a legend of this game.”