It wouldn’t be the first day of training camp if Chargers legend LaDainian Tomlinson didn’t grace Jack Hammett Sports Complex with his presence.
LT was on hand taking in the sights and sounds of camp, but took a moment to talk about something he’s pretty familiar with – the Chargers offense.
Any time Tomlinson makes his way to a Chargers practice, he makes sure to reconnect with one of his former teammates, Philip Rivers. Rivers is entering his 15th season, coming off one of his best in recent memory. As for what still makes number 17 play at a high level? LT chalks it up to the standard Rivers holds himself to.
“He’s such a cerebral guy,” said the Hall of Fame running back. “He’s one of the smartest quarterbacks that I’ve ever been around. The passion is how he maintains his level of success. He has a sense of pride about himself. Every time he steps between the lines, he expects so much out of himself that it’s almost like the coaches can’t expect anything more than what he expects out of himself. He knows exactly what he needs to accomplish every time he touches the field. Having a leader like Philip Rivers is great for this football team. All they have to do is look at 17 to know which direction to go.”
One person who will be looking 17’s way a lot this camp is Mike Williams. The wide receiver is fully healthy, and Saturday was his first-ever training camp practice. Number 81’s presence was a pleasant sight for Tomlinson, who can’t wait to see what a healthy Williams and Keenan Allen can do on the field together.
“It’s certainly really good to hear about Mike Williams and how he’s been doing this offseason,” he added. “I’m excited to (see) him because he and Keenan Allen together on the field, oh man! That’s going to be fun to watch. It really reminds me of Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd where one of those guys was going to go and get (the ball). I see the same things happening this year. You throw the ball up to Mike Williams, and more times than not, he’s going to come down with a catch.”
As for the ground game? It’s clear the one-two punch of Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler made a formidable duo in 2017. While camp is just the start of seeing what the pair is capable of this season, LT predicts both will be key cogs in the Bolts offense once again.
“I think those guys together, last year, they proved to be a valuable package (and) I think they’re going to work tremendously together again this year. Melvin’s role might actually increase a little bit in the passing game because from what I hear, he’s been working on that aspect of his game. Austin, he’s actually a really good runner between the tackles and carrying the football, so he’s going to expand his role. I’m looking forward to seeing both of those guys. I think they’ll tear it up and have good years.”
Browse through the top photos from opening day as the Bolts kick off Training Camp.