Thursday, April 8, 2010
LT done expressing his opinion
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- LaDainian Tomlinson is done talking about the San Diego Chargers.
The New York Jets running back caused a stir last week when he said "everything was taken" from him in San Diego as the Chargers focused more on passing than running the football. He didn't back off those comments Thursday, but said it's now all in the past.
"That was kind of my one time of speaking my piece and it being my opinion," Tomlinson said. "As a guy who gave so much to the organization for nine years, I felt like I could express my opinion. Now, I'm done with it and I really wish them the best -- until we play them."
Tomlinson ran for a career-low 732 yards and 3.3 yards per carry last season, but said last week there was more to it than just being a running back nearing the end of his career. He said it was "misleading when you look on film" because Chargers coach Norv Turner increasingly allowed Philip Rivers to throw the ball down the field, the offensive linemen were mostly pass blocking and fullback Lorenzo Neal was allowed to leave as a free agent.
The comments irritated some in San Diego, although players and general manager A.J. Smith declined public comment. Smith, who clashed with the running back at times in recent years, did make a statement to the San Diego Union-Tribune about the team losing some high-profile stars that could have been considered a jab back at Tomlinson.
"Having outstanding players throughout your team is vital to winning a championship, no doubt about that," Smith told the newspaper last week. "But having the right team and trying to put that team together is the ultimate challenge and it's a yearly challenge. Because it's the team that will win a world championship -- not a bunch of individuals who happen to be extremely talented and focused on themselves first."
Tomlinson, the eighth-leading rusher in NFL history who signed a two-year deal worth about $5.2 million with the Jets last month, said he didn't hear from Smith or any former teammates.
"There were actually a couple of writers from San Diego who tried to get in contact with me, saying something about A.J. Smith having some hard words to say," Tomlinson said with a grin, "but I'm not surprised by that."
QB Mark Sanchez is still not jogging or running on his surgically repaired left knee, but has been doing some running in a pool. He had surgery Feb. 17 to repair the patella ligament to prevent future dislocations of the kneecap. ... K Nick Folk, the leading candidate to replace Jay Feely, said he has corrected "bad habits" that developed after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip last offseason. The former Pro Bowl pick for Dallas missed field goals in six consecutive games last season before being released by the Cowboys. "Everything leads back to the surgery," said Folk, who said he rushed himself to participate in training camp. "That's what I can kind of attribute it to." ... DE Shaun Ellis, participating in voluntary offseason workouts, said his surgically repaired left hand "feels good, but I haven't hit anything yet." Ellis broke the hand in the Jets' 17-14 playoff win at San Diego, and needed screws inserted after playing in the Pro Bowl. He expects to be 100 percent by minicamp in June.