LaDainian Tomlinson Responds To Comments Made By Former San Diego Chargers Teammates

August 3, 2010- By Jonathan Lowell

After signing with the New York Jets in the offseason, LaDainian Tomlinson probably thought his days in San Diego were behind him. Tomlinson’s former teammates have made comments about the running back’s departure from the Chargers, but he says they won’t get in the way of his focus on next season.

Phillip Rivers and Antonio Gates are the two most notable players making comments about Tomlinson this week. Rivers told reporters before the start of camp that it was somewhat of a relief not to have LaDainian with the team. 2010 NFL betting trends are favoring the Chargers to be successful next season without Tomlinson.

“I don’t know how everyone feels or if they felt it,” Rivers said. “Maybe it was a little bit of a relief. Maybe it’s a feeling of, ‘I can do a little more without wondering what he thinks.’ ”

The Chargers allowed Tomlinson to test the free-agent market for the first time in his career after releasing him in February. The five-time Pro Bowler had his worst season as a charger in 2009, and the team ended one of the most successful player/franchise relationships in sports history. 2010 NFL betting odds for the Chargers were adjusted when Tomlinson left the team.

For Gates, the problem wasn’t Tomlinson’s work ethic, or his ability to get along with other teammates.

“He has done a phenomenal job with opening relationships with people,” Gates told the newspaper. “When you talk about great player, you have to be careful what you say. Obviously, I miss LT. I played with him a whole lot. But the reality is Philip and I have a more core friendship because of the openness.”

It seems that star power was the main reason for the friction between the former MVP and the rest of the team.

“Me and LT had a wonderful relationship too. But sometimes you got the sense of stardom status and you can only take it so far. With Philip, I never feel that.”

Tomlinson shot back at those comments by saying that he saw the same treatment of Junior Seau when he left the team.

“It doesn’t hurt me, but nothing surprises me because guys want to speak their opinion on things. Junior Seau went through the same thing with guys when he was the big star and he left the team and guys said how they felt about him. It’s the same situation. Good luck to those guys,” Tomlinson said.

Shonn Greene will compete with Tomlinson for the majority of the carries for the Jets next season. The team fell short of the Super Bowl last season after suffering a heartbreaking loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game.

Prior to the 2010 season, Super Bowl XLV lines have the Jets chances of winning the championship at +1200.

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