It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday ………….Oh No It Isn’t Just Do It ……….. As In The Nike Ad …………
Well it looks as if another ‘illustrious career’ in the NFL is about to come to an end. It’s not an abrupt one but somehow it was on the cards after the San Diego Chargers’ loss in the divisional rounds of the playoffs. The team’s inexplicable 17-14 loss to the New York Jets , further showed us that the ‘team’ no longer has the stomach for a fight in the face of real adversity ! Never-mind the fact that they were heavily favored over their AFC East rivals, in their home venue of Qualcomm Stadium, in-front of a soldout crowd.
To say that the Chargers’ fans weren’t disappointed with yet another power showing would be an understatement. And the thought is that this Norv Turner coached team has now gone soft. There was enough evidence there to suggest that was the case. And more to the point, Turner’s coaching staff didn’t seem to be adept , nor were they prepared to adapt to negate the plays of the Jets throughout the game when it mattered most. The loss in ofitself, is enough to suggest that the window of opportunity for the Chargers is fast becoming a fact that it’s now closing more rapidly than ever before. Chargers’ General Manager & EVP A. J. Smith the team owner ,co-President Alex Spanos and his son , President & CEO Dean Spanos , will now have very serious decisions to make regarding this roster and perhaps certain members of Turner’s coaching staff. One thing has become abundantly clear concerning the San Diego Chargers. They are no longer the team that once gave both the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots ‘a run for their money’ . Always considered to be postseason contenders , this slide back to ordinariness, pushes them back amongst the pack , instead of amongst the legitimate contenders.
Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports
San Diego (AP)—LaDainian Tomlinson(notes) says he believes he has played his last game with the San Diego Chargers.
The running back told The San Diego Union-Tribune on Thursday that he has thought for a while he would be let go by the Chargers.
His comments come after more than a month of saying he did not know what would happen.
The NFL’s most valuable player in 2006 has two years remaining on his contract. He is due a $2 million roster bonus March 5 and would be paid $5 million in total salary in 2010.
Tomlinson tells the newspaper he doesn’t know when the Chargers will release him and that his agent, Tom Condon, might call the club to expedite the process.
Condon didn’t immediately respond to a phone message from the AP.
“All discussions about the future will take place later this month. No decisions have been made,” Chargers spokesman Bill Johnston wrote in an email to The Associated Press.
Tomlinson has become one of the most beloved athletes in San Diego history during a nine-year career but his production and speed have been decreasing.
Tomlinson had 730 yards on 223 carries for an average of 3.3 yards per carry this past season, all career lows. The lower numbers were due in part to the Chargers relying more on their high-octane passing game, as well as Tomlinson missing the second and third games with a sprained ankle.
Now for the team’s fabled running back and face of the franchise for almost a decade. LaDainian Tomlinson now knows that this was indeed his last chance to go out with a bang, as a San Diego Charger. It is becoming inevitably clear that the team and he will part ways. Seemingly, the player won’t be asked to return for one more year with the franchise that he’s served do diligently. Tomlinson may not be the only player that’s about to depart from the franchise. But for the moment that’s open to conjecture and mere speculation. As to what this says about the overall character of the team. Well the physical toughness seems to be there in the guise of their quarterback, Philip Rivers. But the mental aspect and whatever else deemed, just isn’t there. Either this is a reflection of Norv Turner’s coaching style or from the mere fact that this team just doesn’t possess the know how and willpower to win. Chances are, it’s a combination of both.
With every possibility that this is the envisaged scenario that is likely to take place with Tomlinson being released by the team. Then there’s sure to be a great deal of interest shown in the five time Pro Bowl running back. There are number of teams across the NFL that would show a great deal of interest in the player. Though now being hampered by niggling and recurring injuries , though not thought of an every ‘down back’. On the right team under the right set of circumstances , LaDainian Tomlinson could still be a very productive player in the NFL. That explosive burst of speed may no longer be there and a requisite of his game. But instinctively Tomlinson knows how and can still find the endzone under the right opportunity. But for the Chargers it now seems the aging veteran will have to make way for one the young upstarts on the team. It may not seem a fitting and welcoming end for such a beloved player within the area. But the NFL is now more about being a business wherein the question is “……….what have you done for me lately” ?
As to the Chargers’ own impending future and whether or not they can maintain being the dominant force within the AFC West remains to be seen. Long considered to be by far the weakest division the NFL. The brand of football being played there has at times bordered on being downright atrocious ! That could also be one of the inherent problems that the team faces as they’re not really being challenged by any of the the constituents within the division. Apart from the Denver Broncos, the likes of the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs , possess about as much grit and determination as a collective group of post-op trans-sexual and then some ! That latter duo, couldn’t beat their way out a wet paper bag, much less string together successfully a winning streak of more than two games , if that . One wonders if their lives depended on it , could they achieve such a feat ? .