The League

Roman Oben
Retired Football Player

Roman Oben

Played 12 years as a tackle in the NFL

Tomlinson Still the Man


In the 2008 AFC championship game, LaDainian Tomlinson had an MCL sprain that should have sidelined him for two to three weeks, but instead of listening to his body, he heard the voice of a super competitive, driven elite athlete who was one year removed from an NFL MVP award.

Philip Rivers played that same game with a partially torn ACL, while his running back sat on the cold bench with his helmet on. Tomlinson showed no emotion, he didn't cheer on his teammates, nor could fans see his face through his dark tinted visor.

This changed the entire perception of a young man who represented everything that was good about America's number one sport. What followed was the embarrassment of producing the worst statistical season of Tomlinson's career.

LT turned 30 in June, and we may have seen Tomlinson's best season in 2006. That doesn't mean he isn't a productive running back who can still get 1,300-plus yards and 15 rushing touchdowns.

There is no running back controversy between Tomlinson and Darren Sproles. As someone who blocked for both of them, I can say with absolute certainty LT is still at the top of his game. There was a time when Tomlinson was considered the best running back in the NFL, if not the best football player in the league.

At this point of his career, Tomlinson is playing on the most talented team in the NFL, boasting an all-pro caliber player at every position. The emergence of Sproles will help Tomlinson get quality carries so he can have the Curtis Martin type of productivity for a few more seasons.

Hopefully for the Chargers organization and their fans, the fate of Tomlinson will end in February as the last team standing.


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By Roman Oben  |  September 16, 2009; 1:37 PM ET  | Category:  Running Backs , San Diego Chargers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Sproles Is the Go-To | Next: Commit to Sproles

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