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Who is Impressing LaDainian Tomlinson?
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The last open training camp practice is in the books.
The preseason is halfway over.
With less than three weeks to go before kickoff against the Broncos on Monday Night Football, the Chargers are getting a better sense of who they are as a football team.
While there is still a lot to accomplish before the Bolts take the field in the regular season, enough time has gone by to draw conclusions. Everyone has their own opinion on what they’ve seen on the field, and that includes LaDainian Tomlinson.
The Hall of Fame running back has spent a significant portion of the past month around the team, and weighed in with what has stood out.
First and foremost, LT’s convinced the top talent on the team rivals any other in the NFL.
“Our first team offense and defense is as good as there is in the league,” he said. “They are going to be able to play with anybody and everybody, and always have a chance to win. For me, I think the balance they create on offense is big. They can run it and throw it. If they have that balance, and I think they will, I’m telling you, it’s going to be a fun year.”
Meanwhile, a certain rookie has caught number 21’s eye. It’s the same young playmaker you’d expect, as he has Chargers fans buzzing as well.
“How can you not be impressed with Desmond King? He’s the guy who has been the most surprising to me, but he probably shouldn’t have been. He has stood out with the way he plays. He’s a football player. It’s the way he’s always been, but to see it every day out here, and the way he’s been working and getting better, that’s been nice to see.”
LT also wanted to let his thoughts known about Branden Oliver. After missing all of 2016 with an Achilles injury, the popular, powerful rusher has Tomlinson convinced he’s the ideal complement to Melvin Gordon.
“Branden is just a guy who adds a great change of pace for you in the backfield. He is truly a guy who can catch it, is a tough runner between the tackles, is a willing blocker; he’s just a great guy to have as depth on a team. He’s exactly what you want in that role for a running back to go with (Gordon).”
Bullish on the Bolts, Tomlinson isn’t naïve enough to think there aren’t areas that must improve. First and foremost, LT stressed that the second-team players need to show improvement over the final two preseason games.
“The depth needs to be better,” he said. “When you think about second or third-team guys, you want them to be just as strong as your first-team guys. That way if there is an injury to someone on the first-team, there isn’t much of a drop off. It’s preseason, so this is the time where you evaluate everybody except the first-team. We know what we have there with the starters, so now is when you have to see what there is behind them.”