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Chargers Teammates, NFL Legends React to LT's Election to Hall of Fame

On December 10th, 2006, Ladainian Tomlinson scored his 29th touchdown of the season, breaking the NFL's record for touchdowns scored during a single season.

With LaDainian Tomlinson officially a member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2017, many of his closest teammates, coaches and even some NFL legends weighed in on his much deserved honor.

Quarterback Drew Brees: "Incredibly rare skill and athleticism don't begin to describe LaDainian Tomlinson. He played the game with a sense of purpose and pride that set him apart in every way. His work ethic and leadership made everyone around him better. Not only was he the most complete running back I have ever seen, he was the most complete teammate. There is not a person who deserves it more. Congrats LT from all those who were blessed to play with you."

Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer:"There is no one who deserves to be a first ballot Hall of Fame player and person more than LaDainian Tomlinson. He was the finest player I ever coached.  As great a player he was, he was at least the equal of that as a person. He was always going to be there for me and his players.  He'd always be there and deliver. You could count on LaDainian.  It was a terrific relationship."

Quarterback Philip Rivers:"There are a lot of reasons why LT is a Hall of Famer. Like I've often said, I had the best view in the house on a lot of those runs. His vision was unreal. He was making the next cut before he made the first cut sometimes. I was like, 'Golly, how in the world did he see that?' Because there was no way at that point to make that decision. So his vision would be the first thing. He wasn't a big back, but he was powerful. His stiff arms - like the Rams one -  he was powerful with that. In between the tackles, he was scatty in his own way and he could hit the homerun, but he was powerful in between the tackles."

Tight End Antonio Gates:"LT deserves this. Even though we didn't win a Super Bowl or an AFC Championship, like he's said, we had big moments like that.  Those celebratory moments are what we will always have, and can talk about forever. This is another."

Outside Linebacker Shaun Phillips:"LT is the epitome of what it means to be a Hall of Famer. He was not only our best player, but the hardest working player on our team.  That's why I believe we were as good as we were during those years.  It was because our best player was the hardest working player, and it elevated all our games."

Outside Linebacker Shawne Merriman:"I (had) the best seat in the house every day to watch greatness. Congratulations to my brother and former teammate LT  on the HOF."

President of Business Operations A.G. Spanos:"There is no one more deserving of being a first ballot Hall of Famer than LaDainian Tomlinson.  When I reflect on his career, I can't help but feel lucky to have witnessed it."

President of Football Operations John Spanos: "LT was such a special player that there was never any doubt he'd be a Hall of Famer. His quickness for a guy that size was special. It would be one thing if he was 185 pounds or 190, but this was a guy who was 215 to 220 with that type of footwork, quickness and speed.  You combine that natural size and strength with his speed, quickness and vision, and then of course his hands; he spoiled us.  And as a blocker when he needed to in blitz pick-up and pass protection, he could do that. Really, he was literally the whole package and deserved to be a first ballot Hall of Famer."

Fullback Lorenzo Neal:"LT's been a surefire Hall of Famer for a long time in my book. Rivers, Gates and LT; those three guys are going to be Hall of Famers, and now to see LT get in is going to be great.  You just knew you were working with something special. I think you knew you had something that only comes around every so often; you don't get to see and be that close to greatness."

Wide Receiver Kassim Osgood:"Want to send a HUGE congrats to my former teammate and Co-Captain, Ladainian Tomlinson, for his Hall of Fame induction! Truly well deserved and accordingly it's a first ballot nod. Man worked hard and it was a pleasure to watch him dazzle the crowd!"

Hall of Fame RB Jerome Bettis (via NFL Network):"I think his career warrants that he gets in. First ballot? I believe he has done everything to check all of those boxes in terms of being a first ballot Hall of Famer. LaDainian has earned that."

Hall of Fame CB Deion Sanders (via NFL Network): "I cannot believe you have the audacity to ask me to try and make a case for LT. How do you know a man for his teardrop (celebration) unless he gets into the end zone often (enough) to do the dang teardrop enough to know him!  He could have started in the slot (as a receiver), running back and he probably could have played a little corner; that is how versatile LT was. LT took the game to another level." 

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