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With Tomlinson gone, Rivers ready to lead Chargers

Philip Rivers showed up to training camp with a Full Metal Jacket haircut, a new look for a new era of Chargers football. LaDainian Tomlinson is gone, and things, well, feel different.

“I don’t know how everyone feels or if they felt it,” said Rivers to Kevin Acee of the San Diego-Union Tribune. “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.’‚ÄČ”

Acee takes pains in an excellent article not to dismiss Tomlinson’s legacy and calls the running back “a great man.”  But Acee also included these lines:

* “It would be difficult to find anyone around the team who would deny
there was a darker side to LT that, due to his stature and intensity, at
times threatened to smother the Chargers,” Acee writes.

* “There was an aura about Tomlinson that he was distinctively set aside.”

The best Chargers confirm the idea, with Rivers saying Tomlinson was “touchy” on the subject of his workload.

“Sometimes you would get the sense that people felt bigger than the
team,” Antonio Gates said. “Not to say it was an issue, but we know it’s not an
issue for sure now.”

Gates, for one, appreciates Rivers’ inclusive leadership style.

“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,” Gates said.

We’ll say it again: The Chargers waited one year too long to dump Tomlinson, but they should benefit from addition-by-subtraction now that they have.

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54 Responses to “With Tomlinson gone, Rivers ready to lead Chargers”
  1. Meat Tuperello says: Aug 2, 2010 2:15 PM

    Phyllis always looked like the orginal Gomer Pyle. The Shave just seals it even more.

  2. The Real Shuxion says: Aug 2, 2010 2:19 PM

    How can a guy lead who sits on the bench and mopes while his team works their ass off to win playoff games.
    No wonder why this team under-performs in the playoffs.

  3. Stone says: Aug 2, 2010 2:21 PM

    2 years. They should have dumped him and signed Turner instead.

  4. lieutenant Dan's Ice Cream says: Aug 2, 2010 2:21 PM

    Why the jets signed this diva is beyond me.
    I always remember the 2007 AFC Championship Game where LT sat on the bench with his helmet on like a pouting child. Meanwhile Rives was playing on a torn ACL or whatever.
    LT is a turd. Plain and simple.

  5. jcjets says: Aug 2, 2010 2:22 PM

    Well Tomlinson isn’t the one who threw the INT to Jim Leonard in the playoffs. And Tomlinson isn’t the one that kicked the red challenge flag..

  6. Broncofanman says: Aug 2, 2010 2:25 PM

    Rivers is such a dueche.. God, this guy is extremly over-rated, his team carries his ass. Want an example, look at the every game they ever played, Rivers plays the chuck it game and he hopes is team gets under the ball.

  7. robert ethen says: Aug 2, 2010 2:28 PM

    The Full Metal Jacket Bullet Head look. Stylists recommended the Full Sheepdog Cut to de-emphasize (or completely obscure) his facial features, but Phillip has never lacked confidence in himself.

  8. Nate is Gay for Brady says: Aug 2, 2010 2:28 PM

    Wasn’t Tomlinson gone during the playoffs during the last few years anyway?

  9. SomeFans says: Aug 2, 2010 2:31 PM

    Nothing but a cancer- he’ll be a good fit on the hapless jests and their hype machine… sans revis of course

  10. Citizen Strange says: Aug 2, 2010 2:34 PM

    “…but they should benefit from addition-by-subtraction …”
    ~~~~~~~~~
    Amoebas multiply by dividing.

  11. BRUTUS9448 says: Aug 2, 2010 2:35 PM

    who cares. Chargers will choke once again in the playoffs. Their coach is a loser that hasn’t changed

  12. NYCharger says: Aug 2, 2010 2:37 PM

    Hey jcjets
    You are correct. But Tomlinson is the one who couldn’t get through holes that were wide as you are about to witness. How about your boy Cromartie? Don’t you think he will have to tackle someone?
    The two reason’s we didn’t mop you up are now on your team. IF you make the playoffs, you’re toast. And that’s what even Buffalo will be doing to you this year.
    Your team is very entertaining because of all the off-field drama up-coming.

  13. Cutler=Tool says: Aug 2, 2010 2:40 PM

    # Broncofanman says: August 2, 2010 2:25 PM
    Rivers is such a dueche.. God, this guy is extremly over-rated, his team carries his ass. Want an example, look at the every game they ever played, Rivers plays the chuck it game and he hopes is team gets under the ball.
    —————————————————————
    If he’s overrated how bad must Denver be? He owns Denver. Aside from the Hoculi disaster he hasn’t lost a game to them as a pro. Completely PWNES the Donks. Completely PWNES that division.

  14. BenRapistberger says: Aug 2, 2010 2:42 PM

    More like 2 years too late. As the old cliche goes, better 2 years too soon than 2 years too late.
    This is why the Pats trading Richard Seymour will turn out to be one of the better moves over the last few years.

  15. mmmchasse says: Aug 2, 2010 2:43 PM

    broncofanman: the last 2 years Rivers passer rating exceded 103 Orton and Cutler (your last qb), couldn’t do that if they added their ratings together and multiplied it by 2.
    Say whatever you want about choking and everything else, at least we make it to the playoffs. Until Elway pulls a Favre and tries playing again, your team wont be winning anything but the Hooters eat the most wings contest during the playoffs.

  16. klungemonger says: Aug 2, 2010 2:53 PM

    @mmmchasse
    Amen, and freakin hilarious!

  17. SF Saints Fan says: Aug 2, 2010 2:57 PM

    Chargers should never have done what they did to Brees.
    Drew Brees is a leader.
    Philip Rivers is a ……
    Fill in the blank. It does not include leader or Super Bowl MVP.

  18. Fuligin says: Aug 2, 2010 3:01 PM

    Test

  19. Jim Jones says: Aug 2, 2010 3:10 PM

    Cutler=Tool
    If he’s overrated how bad must Denver be? He owns Denver. Aside from the Hoculi disaster he hasn’t lost a game to them as a pro. Completely PWNES the Donks. Completely PWNES that division.
    Uhh they split the season last year pal.
    RECOGNIZE!!
    JimJones

  20. packattack95 says: Aug 2, 2010 3:10 PM

    Rivers was a leader from the get go when he stepped on campus at NC State as an 18 year old freshman. He is nothing but class.

  21. Popeye says: Aug 2, 2010 3:10 PM

    It will be funny when Rivers folds again. We’ll see how quickly their tune changes when the “leader” has to look his teammates in the eye and say “sorry I effed up again”
    I never heard this when LT was scoring 30+ TDs

  22. Jim Jones says: Aug 2, 2010 3:14 PM

    Chargers going down in flames this year. They draft a rookie at 12 and he’s the next charger messiah? Puhhhlleeaasseee.
    Rivers less his high jump king? Yeah need I say more? Double Gates and make uhh Malcolm Floyd or Josh Reed burn em deep. Three words…NOT GONNA HAPPEN. Well you can always turn to Craig “BUST-er” Davis.
    Now that’s freaking hilarious Klungemonger.

  23. Beauregard says: Aug 2, 2010 3:19 PM

    How many Super Bowls has Rivers won??
    How many AFC Championships??
    How many home games after a bye week and playing a wild card teams has he LOST??
    Rivers is an over rated douche. Bolts fans cheer wildly over inconsequential victories but have no answers for their continued playoff failures.

  24. numberfour says: Aug 2, 2010 3:20 PM

    rivers will then need to get himself a really dark visor… to be able to replace visor boy, gregg.

  25. NYCharger says: Aug 2, 2010 3:41 PM

    Jim Jones?
    I thought that religous freak is dead—opps—he makes comments like he is brain-dead

  26. HarrisonHits says: Aug 2, 2010 3:47 PM

    Rivers learned how to whine from the best, he’ll be just fine without LT to cry with him.

  27. JetReaper says: Aug 2, 2010 4:00 PM

    @NYC Charger
    The two reason’s we didn’t mop you up are now on your team. IF you make the playoffs, you’re toast. And that’s what even Buffalo will be doing to you this year.
    ————————————————
    Meanwhile Cromartie is an upgrade over Lito Sheppard any way you slice it, tackling or no tackling…
    And LT is now a BACKUP on the Jets, and he’s been humbled – He knows the backup role is all he’s got now and he knows he’s a bit player in this locker room… If not, the Jets sign someone else to run behind the best OL in football…
    So, 2 of the top players on the Chargers ar enow role players on this Jets team….
    Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii LIKE IT!!!!!!!

  28. chargerrich says: Aug 2, 2010 4:00 PM

    Mathews will make people forget about Turner and who knows he just might fill Tomlinson’s shoes better than some anticipate.
    As for Rivers, like him or not he is about as good a team player as you could ever want. Quiet and unassuming of the “star” role but will get in your face (teammate or opponent) when need be.
    When the dust clears 7 or 8 years from now (and barring injuries) Rivers will be the clear winner of the Manning, Rothelisberger, Rivers discussion.

  29. SeriousRadio says: Aug 2, 2010 4:21 PM

    Another big mouth post by Tiny Tim Greg. Does it really matter that ‘we’ think the Chargers waited a year too long to dump LT? No, it doesn’t matter what you opine. And there wasn’t any addition-by-subtraction when they drafted Ryan Mathews with the 12th pick in the draft for $25M to replace LT. There isn’t any bigger ‘me first’ player on the Chargers than Rivers. He annoys players and coaches throughout the league, and provides bulletin board material for every opponent. And GM A.J. Smith certainly behaves like he is bigger than the team as he hurts the teams chances for the SB with his stubborn treatment of a few top players. One thing is for sure – LT will never retire as a Charger as long as AJ Smith is GM – and AJ and the rest of the league know it. And I think Kevin Acee has seen his last interview with LT as well. San Diego is so small that the local paper apparently only has one Charger beat writer.

  30. JetReaper says: Aug 2, 2010 4:28 PM

    @Charger Rich
    Wow… for starters Ryan Mathews has along way to go and the Chargers OL is really the key…
    And Rivers has quite a bit of hardware to earn to even get Back into the Ben/Manning debate.

  31. NYCharger says: Aug 2, 2010 4:30 PM

    Jet Reaper
    That was pretty lame. Even the NY press is on LT’s case cause he thinks he is #1. He doesn’t know he is a backup and you’re not paying him back-up money.
    Cromartie has talent, no doubt, but he can’t keep it in his pants–lookout NYC women!!!!!!
    No where’s near the two top Chargers last year. But you got rid of your best RB.
    Try again with something logical.
    And what is that “like it” thing?? You’ll be happier this year if you do shots rather than drafts—you’ll pass out quicker and won’t have to see the end of another of your many losses this year.
    Start stocking up on whiskey-LOSER!!

  32. 420fan says: Aug 2, 2010 4:34 PM

    rivers, turner and AJ smith will make sure the chargers choke again in the playoffs, if they make it that far. Cry me a river’s…..He’s an over rated cry baby.
    Go get em Norvel, lead them to the basement. Isn’t that were your headed after taking over a 14-2 team. Only a freakin genius like AJ would fire a coach after going 14-2!
    Long live AJ!!!
    Sandy Eggo Super Chokers!

  33. habibfromnewdehli says: Aug 2, 2010 4:51 PM

    What does Tomlinson being gone have to do with anything? He wasn’t stopping Rivers from leading. And Rivers was doing just a fine job with LT there.
    This team’s problem WAS simple… the kicker position. Nate Kaeding choked in big games.
    Now, this team’s window has pretty much closed… and they STILL haven’t figured out that the kicking position has killed them from getting further in the playoffs.
    Their defense was more than adequate for a while. They lost Jamal Williams and Cromartie. Merrimen let the early success go to his head, has injuries, and is older.
    The offense was stacked. LT got old, and is gone. Gates now has a couple injuries, doesn’t seem to have the same vertical or speed.

  34. hardy_na says: Aug 2, 2010 4:52 PM

    …”Rivers ready to lead Chargers tooo…….”
    To what?
    Another exit from the playoffs and the feeling of failure?

  35. DEMOLITION says: Aug 2, 2010 4:52 PM

    Crybabies don’t make good leaders.
    And Gates, that was a dumb quote.
    “open the Gates and let the Rivers flow” hahaha dumbest sign ever

  36. JimmyY says: Aug 2, 2010 5:00 PM

    Yes, unfortunately they waited too long, but would you, or anyone else, have said that a year ago? I doubt it. The fan base would have revolted but is now painfully aware that that was the prudent thing to do. Had he been released there would have been three times the uproar so don’t go boasting what they should or should not have done a year later. That’s BS.

  37. SeriousRadio says: Aug 2, 2010 5:18 PM

    How stupid was it for AJ Smith to sign an older oft-injured Gates to a huge contract but slap two needed players in the face so that they will probably hold out as the Chargers’ window closes? The problem wasn’t Martyball – the annual choking is due to the Norv n’ AJ Sideshow.

  38. Pilehiclown says: Aug 2, 2010 5:21 PM

    There was no such thing as a sandy eggo sparkler fan before 2003-04. Wasnt that place called south oakland? There were more raider fans there than dolt fans.What a joke .Bunch of bandwagon fans now.
    Anyways, there is only 1 LT and he played defense.

  39. Broncofanman says: Aug 2, 2010 6:08 PM

    I love the people who act as if Rivers is the second coming of Christ, he isn’t, that person is on the Broncos.
    People, my comments were about Rivers being over rated, his team around him make him look great. Look at his passed, high, low, whatever, it’s his receivers, the defense and certainly his run game that made him what he is today.
    Now, he may have beaten the Broncos, Raiders and who ever duiring the season but if your losing the first game of the playoffs year in and year out, what good is that? A true stud of a Qb gets your team going and finds ways to win when it all looks bleak. Rivers isn’t the leader of that team, he simply isn’t.

  40. Waveslide says: Aug 2, 2010 6:12 PM

    Talk all the trash about the Chargers you want. We own the AFCW! I would rather have a 0-16 Chargers and live in San Diego than be 16-0 in any other dump of a city! Insert middle finger with a smile.

  41. 420fan says: Aug 2, 2010 6:38 PM

    @waveslide, you’ve owned the afc west for 4 years and now your run is done. Get back to the cellar where your bandwagon fans hop off……
    and your hope of 0-16 may come true, if you keep norvel and AJ around much longer….

  42. Arizona Buckeye says: Aug 2, 2010 8:59 PM

    As a long time Charger fan – I am saddened that LT chose to become such a selfish egotistical diva – but I for one am glad to see him go. We need a running back that wants to play in the play-offs even when he has a hang nail.

  43. RiversFTW says: Aug 2, 2010 9:18 PM

    420FAN, you must be high so your name fits…
    Broncofan… he’s only lost twice in the 1st game. Once as a 1st year starter and last year when his FG kicker missed 3 FG’s in a game they lost by 3. The other 2 years, they won their 1st game. So, that’s not year in and year out…
    Try a little less hate and a lot more research.

  44. Broncofanman says: Aug 2, 2010 11:10 PM

    Rivers FTW,
    Are you kidding me? Your actually pruod of how your team has faired in the playoffs? Talk about settling for nothing..
    LT was for so many years a class act his coach and general manager screwed him jsut like he’s going to screw Merriman, Jackson and the other guys who matter on this team. Good luck making the playoffs this year, one man will never bring you there, ever.

  45. nflhof says: Aug 2, 2010 11:15 PM

    Broncofanwoman sure has a bad case of missing Janice cutler don’t she? Admit it bronco fans Philip Rivers owns the Donks and the city of Denver!

  46. Beauregard says: Aug 2, 2010 11:50 PM

    And Denver……
    “Owns” TWO SUPER BOWL TROPHIES, while owning the Bolts for years.
    Admit it, without the trophy Rivers is Archie Manning.

  47. RiversFTW says: Aug 3, 2010 2:24 AM

    Bronco… jeez…did I say I was proud of how our team has fared in the playoffs? Show me where I said that? I just merely pointed out that a Rivers-QB’d Charger team hasn’t always gone out in their 1st game “year in and year out”…
    But I get it… You are a Broncos fan and you hate Rivers. I would hate a guy too if he kicked my ass all the time…

  48. Jeff59 says: Aug 3, 2010 7:42 AM

    Tomlinson a “turd”? Diva? Hmmm … this must be why the Chargers have always seemed to come up short of the prize. Here’s one of the most successful running backs in NFL history, who during his prime in SD created the opportunities for the team to go into the playoffs and compete for a championship. If this is how San Diego fans support their players who perform at an elite level over an entire career in the blue and white, good luck winning a championship. What a bunch of losers, and I’m not just talking ’bout the team.

  49. NzYme says: Aug 3, 2010 8:26 AM

    Remind me but LT has been careful not to mention any players in his disagreement with the Chargers organization correct? It’s pretty pathetic that Gates and Rivers have to kill on LT. Guess Rivers didn’t appreciate that in his first year as a starter LT touched the rock 400+ times for over 2,000 yards and 31 TDs ???

  50. SeriousRadio says: Aug 3, 2010 10:54 AM

    LT was not really used consistently in the AFCCG. 12 carries. What kept Pretty Boy Rivers from leading then? Easy for Rivers to imply that LT held him back. For 12 plays. What about the rest of the game?

  51. HALOSXXIII says: Aug 3, 2010 12:49 PM

    NyZme…
    LT has been bashing the Chargers since he left. He basically blamed his bad year on the O Line. All Pro Kris Dielmann won’t even accept LT’s texts or phone calls. LT threw plenty of people under the bus.
    Serious Radio… You mean the game where LT averaged 2.0 yards? What sense would it make to keep giving LT the ball when he is averaging 2 yards a carry? Again… RIvers put the Chargers in position to win. Rivers can’t kick field goals too…

  52. mikebyrne1502 says: Aug 3, 2010 8:21 PM

    jcjets says:
    August 2, 2010 2:22 PM
    Well Tomlinson isn’t the one who threw the INT to Jim Leonard in the playoffs. And Tomlinson isn’t the one that kicked the red challenge flag..
    But he is the one who had 20+ carries for 12 yrds.

  53. bananakaboom says: Aug 31, 2010 6:09 PM

    People who badmouth LT know absolutely nothing about football, and I call those people Chargers fans, Patriots fans, and in-general-morons. He is a first-ballot hall of fame RB that was humble, and no one ever heard him grumbling. He sat on the sidelines with an injured toe during a playoff game (an injury that Emmitt Smith and the likes asserted could be detrimental to any great RB – but, I suppose he is a diva too?)…. Diva. LOL, that term is tossed around like Cutler tosses INTs. Quite simply, Norv Turner ruined LT. Marty was doing fine. How can anyone root for a team that dismisses its head coach after going 14-2 in a season? True leadershit!
    This is the same Rivers that spends time yelling at other players (like the loser Jay Cutler) rather than focusing on his own play. No wonder THE JETS will own the AFC again this year. Oh yeah, and thanks in part to the real LT.

  54. fusilikevin says: Nov 10, 2011 3:14 AM

    I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that YET AGAIN, Norv is driving the team straight down the toilet. They’re not even circling this time. I often wonder WHY our ‘glorious’ media doesn’t walk up to A.J. and ask him WHY he blew out Marty, and brought in Norv.. ANYBODY AND EVERYBODY who knows ANYTHING about Norv ‘DAMN I SUCK’ Turner, knows the dude can’t hold a freaking candle to Marty, but A.J. Smith put HIMSELF,and his personal dislike for Marty AHEAD OF THE TEAM, thus screwing US-THE FANS- for the forseeable future. And what about Spanos? Does Smith have some pictures of him in ‘compromising’ positions or something? WTF is going on with the Charger’s front-freaking-office? Your team is GETTING OLD! You’ve already pissed away their prime, but you still have time WITH THE RIGHT COACH! HELLO MR. GRUDEN…HOW DO YOU LIKE SAN DIEGO? For crissake…pay the dude, and get this team moving forward!

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