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Three Chargers named to All-Decade team

Posted Feb 1, 2010

Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, fullback Lorenzo Neal and running back LaDainian Tomlinson were named to the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 2000’s, as chosen by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Two current Chargers and one player who spent five years in San Diego are among the 53 players named to the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 2000’s.

Tight end Antonio Gates, fullback Lorenzo Neal and running back LaDainian Tomlinson were recognized Sunday during a special ESPN telecast that aired prior to the Pro Bowl.

Among tight ends in the 2000’s, only Tony Gonzalez, who was also recognized on the All-Decade team, recorded more touchdown catches and receiving yards than Gates. A six-time Pro Bowler, Gates averaged 13.0 yards per catch this past decade, the most among all tight ends.

Tomlinson rushed for an NFL best 12,490 yards in the 2000’s, 1,897 more than second-place finisher Edgerrin James. LT’s 138 rushing touchdowns during the decade were 38 more than any other player and set an NFL record for the most rushing scores in any decade. Tomlinson went to four Pro Bowls during the decade and scored at least 10 touchdowns in each of his nine seasons, all of which came in the 2000’s.

Neal, who played for the Chargers from 2003-07, was named to five Pro Bowls during the decade, including three with San Diego. He paved the way for a 1,000-yard rusher in 11-consecutive seasons, including five in a row for Tomlinson during Neal’s Chargers tenure. Neal was the lone fullback selected to the All-Decade team.

The NFL All-Decade teams are chosen every 10 years by the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee members. The 2000s will mark the ninth All-Decade team to be selected in NFL history.

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