Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson says his decision to play in New York, rather than Minnesota, came down to his familiarity with the Jets’ offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer.
“I had two places that wanted me and I think the major decision it came down to was playing in a new offense or playing in an offense I already know with Brian Schottenheimer,” Tomlinson said on a conference call today.
Tomlinson said he was tempted by the offer from the Vikings, but that the Jets just felt like the right fit.
“It was pretty tough but when it comes down to it you’ve got to go with your gut and go with what you feel,” Tomlinson said.
As he approaches his 31st birthday in June, Tomlinson dismissed a question about whether he has slowed down, saying he’s still healthy and fast.
“I still have very good speed,” Tomlinson said. “I’m still in great shape. I think I’ll be able to prove that I have good speed.”
During the same conference call, Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum said he thought there would be enough carries to spread around between Tomlinson and Shonn Greene, and he said that Leon Washington is still in the team’s plans, and the team could also draft a running back.
“Maybe we’ll see LaDainian and Shonn in the same backfield, or LaDainian and Leon,” Tannenbaum said. “We’re going to run the ball a lot. That’s important to Rex [Ryan]. That’s our offensive philosophy.”
Tannenbaum also disputed any suggestion that the team’s decision not to keep Thomas Jones was motivated by cheapness.
“Our charge is to put the best team on the field,” Tannenbaum said, adding that Jets owner Woody Johnson “has given us tremendous support.”