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Well-Known Member
Sep 14, 2005
Courtesy of

Chargers' best weapon hasn't caught on

TOMLINSON: The star back, who caught 100 passes two years ago, doesn't have a reception.

12:08 AM PDT on Friday, September 23, 2005

By JIM ALEXANDER / The Press-Enterprise

SAN DIEGO - Two seasons ago, LaDainian Tomlinson caught 100 passes, including four for touchdowns, and established himself as a multi-faceted threat to NFL defenses.

One year ago, playing for a better San Diego Chargers team with more offensive weapons, he still caught 53 passes, amassing a string of 63 consecutive games in which he caught at least one pass.

Two games (and two losses) into this season, he has no catches. None. Zip. Zero. Nada. Nil.

AP photo
Defenses have held running back LaDainian Tomlinson to 124 yards through two games.

"I'm pretty sure people are getting tired of hearing (everyone) say, 'LT hasn't caught any passes' or whatever," Tomlinson said. "It's definitely in the game plan, and that's going to be something we try to do this week -- make sure I touch the ball in open space."

Tomlinson, considered by some the best back in the NFL, has been dramatically underused. He has carried 38 times for 124 yards and three touchdowns, including 19 carries for 52 yards Sunday against Denver.

Much of the time Tomlinson has blocked against the blitz packages the Chargers have seen from Denver and Dallas.

"Frankly, early in the season you want to secure the pocket," Coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "The worst thing you can do to a quarterback in the NFL is to turn loose a guy he expects to be blocked, and we did that on three different occasions (in the Denver loss)."

Schottenheimer said the "considerable amount of man-to-man coverage" they've been seeing is the reason they "really haven't been afforded the opportunities to utilize" Tomlinson.

The Chargers figure to see more blitzing and zone coverage Sunday evening against the New York Giants (2-0), who boast one of the premier pass rushers in defensive end Michael Strahan and have had five players record sacks.

So how do the Chargers get more touches for Tomlinson?

Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was not available to comment since Schottenheimer prohibits his assistants from talking to the media. But Tomlinson said he has discussed the matter with him.

"Cam knew that he needed to get me the ball a little more coming out of the backfield," Tomlinson said.

Quarterback Drew Brees said the Chargers are "looking at how we can put LT in a situation to succeed, whether it's throwing it to him or handing it off.

"Keep in mind, everyone that we face on defense, their No. 1 priority is to stop LT. If they don't, it's impossible to win."

Schottenheimer emphasized that Tomlinson's touches wouldn't come at the expense of protecting Brees, who has been sacked six times, including four at Denver -- even with Tomlinson blocking.

New York coach Tom Coughlin, wary of Tomlinson's potential impact, said during a conference call that any suggestions that opponents have contained him might be a little misleading.

"I know there was a play called back in the Dallas game that might have been a huge difference maker," he said, referring to a 7-yard gain on the Chargers' final drive that was nullified by a holding penalty.

"He's an outstanding football player."


#GoIrish #Aztecs #SDGulls #Raiders #THFC #RipCity
Staff member
Jun 20, 2005
Chula Vista, CA
A lot has been said about this all week. Look for LT to get at least 5 catches this game. Cam Cameron needs to use him so that defense will have one less man to blitz.

With LT, Gates, McCardel, Parker all out in the pattern, the Giants will have to back down on using a 7 or 8 man front. But it all starts with our Oline then Brees. Brees needs to get the ball off faster and the Oline needs to give him more than 2 sec. back there.