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Tomlinson on Rivers: It’s hard to be ‘The Guy’

Miami Dolphins v San Diego Chargers Getty Images

LaDainian Tomlinson has watched his old teammate Philip Rivers struggle from close up (when the Jets faced the Chargers) and from afar on television.

LT2 thinks he may know why Rivers hasn’t been playing well.

“He seems distracted, for some reason. Like on the sideline, he seems like he’s just distracted. And I’ve always said this: It’s hard to be ‘the guy.’ When they say this is your team, it’s hard to be the guy, because you get all the questions of what’s wrong and what’s right.

“And then you get your teammates who expect certain things from you, and when that doesn’t happen, you get strange looks in the locker room,” Tomlinson said.

Tomlinson speaks from experience.  His struggles at the end of his tenure in San Diego are well documented.  When he left, teammates from Rivers to Antonio Gates alluded to issues with Tomlinson’s leadership style.

While these comments from Tomlinson appear well-intended on the surface, they may not play that way in San Diego.  It’s as if Tomlinson is saying to Rivers: It’s not so easy to lead, is it?

“It’s hard to be that guy when it’s your team, so that may have a little bit to do with what’s going on, too,” Tomlinson said.

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39 Responses to “Tomlinson on Rivers: It’s hard to be ‘The Guy’”
  1. weightshakes says: Nov 3, 2011 5:21 PM

    The problem in SD is that Norv is ‘the guy’….

  2. snarkzilla says: Nov 3, 2011 5:26 PM

    Rivers does seem distracted this season, like he’s lost of some that laserlike focus. I hope he stays that way one more week.

  3. suckafree67 says: Nov 3, 2011 5:33 PM

    LT minus 2..

    Shut up already!
    you quit, you never led, you sat on the sideline of a playoff game because your toe nail polish was rubbing off…

    I think PR is hurt, but he played with a jacked up knee, so any soreness he will not reveal…

    Dude is warrior, he plays regardless, he is having an off year, it happens, but it is time for a change…

    we need a defensive minded coach already..Norval has not cut it, EVER!

    Go Bolts!

  4. trubroncfan07 says: Nov 3, 2011 5:46 PM

    Rivers has pretty much played at a very high level every year, because he was surrounded by better talent. Now that the talent level has declined on this team, he does not look as good. He is very good player, just not a great one.

  5. geniusfan says: Nov 3, 2011 5:48 PM

    LT certainly did a great job being “the guy” especially as he sat on the bench in Foxboro during the AFC Championship game loss to the Patriots.

    Oh yeah LT didn’t Phillip Rivers play in that game with a torn ACL?

  6. section24 says: Nov 3, 2011 6:06 PM

    test

  7. tomsd1 says: Nov 3, 2011 6:07 PM

    LT also had Marty to be the “other” guy when in SD. Poor Philip only has Norbert – hardly in the same category.

  8. redbullenergydrink says: Nov 3, 2011 6:09 PM

    Wow, LT says it’s tough to be the guy and people are offended? Ok.

  9. dgforreal says: Nov 3, 2011 6:15 PM

    LT has been plummeting down my list of favorite players lately.

  10. mistrezzrachael says: Nov 3, 2011 6:16 PM

    geniusfan says:
    Nov 3, 2011 5:48 PM
    LT certainly did a great job being “the guy” especially as he sat on the bench in Foxboro during the AFC Championship game loss to the Patriots.

    Oh yeah LT didn’t Phillip Rivers play in that game with a torn ACL?

    Boy did you hit that one right on…Tomlinson is as phony as a $3 bill….and ALWAYS disappears in big games. He collects his stats in September.

  11. purplekoolaid1 says: Nov 3, 2011 6:21 PM

    The problem with the Chargers is people always say “they are loaded with talent, why aren’t they winning?”. The problem with that statement is that it’s just not true anymore.

    Other than Shaun Phillips and possibly (a big stretch) Quentin Jammer, where is the talent on defense? It simply isn’t there.

    I will agree that they have a handful of guys on offense with talent, but they don’t have an LT in his prime on the team. Their O-Line isn’t anything to write home about either. And let’s face it, Rivers is a small step above Drew Bledsoe on the statue meter. Not a great combo (statue QB, no elite RB and not a great line). Not to mention a TE and WR’s that can’t stay healthy.

    When you break it down, this team just isn’t as talented as people keep hyping them up to be.

  12. Chargers have no rings says: Nov 3, 2011 6:24 PM

    LT is a pansy and Phillip Rivers is a big mouth b*tch. SD will never win a superbowl.

    Love always,

    Drew Brees

  13. pwillis52 says: Nov 3, 2011 6:24 PM

    I relish being “the guy”

  14. jbaxt says: Nov 3, 2011 6:26 PM

    Why is Norv to blame when River’s effs up a basic snap that will win the game and throws 2, should have been 3, picks?

  15. mediasloppy says: Nov 3, 2011 6:28 PM

    Tabloid Trash. Big deal. LT wasn’t putting down Rivers. He was actually trying to have his back…

  16. 2blackaces says: Nov 3, 2011 6:31 PM

    The thing that stuck out to me in the chiefs game was that time and time again Norv would line Gates up in the same spot with 2 to 3 defenders up in his face at the line of scrimmage. Why wouldn’t he put Gates in motion to free him up in hopes of getting a 1 on 1 matchup? Bad play calling and in game adjustment for a really talented squad.

  17. habsman says: Nov 3, 2011 6:35 PM

    Tommlinson went on to say: “you know me, I’m a classy guy.”

  18. mh28102 says: Nov 3, 2011 6:42 PM

    Love how charger fans are ripping one of the best chargers in history because he pointed out a truth. Rivers isn’t a good leader. Walking off the field screaming at other people for your own mistakes isn’t leading.

  19. oside760 says: Nov 3, 2011 6:57 PM

    I know LT has something against rivers, but his words should be directed more towards norv and aj

  20. CKL says: Nov 3, 2011 6:58 PM

    trubroncfan07 says: Nov 3, 2011 5:46 PM

    Rivers has pretty much played at a very high level every year, because he was surrounded by better talent. Now that the talent level has declined on this team, he does not look as good.
    ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
    The thing is though, Gates wasn’t healthy LAST year and he was missing Jackson most of the season and he was amazing. (I’m a Pats fan so I have no reason to exaggerate here.) They lost last year because their ST s were awful. He was one of the biggest reasons they were winning. Now they are losing because he is making weird unforced errors like the horrible 2 minute offense vs the Jets and that idiotic fumbled snap.

    Rivers sounds so strange this year…getting kind of mad & defensive when he’s questioned about the team’s record (something like when we’re 4-2 we get questioned and when we’re starting slow we’re questioned) and after losing to the Pats talking about how “excited” he was to see progress or something. It’s like he’s trying to put a good face on things…but not the normal way you’d expect a team spokesperson to. Like he’s trying to convince HIMSELF.

    I don’t think Rivers is JUST pressing, he didn’t last year with a lot of missing weapons on O, why NOW? I mean is Sproles, though he’s awesome, THAT integral to Rivers’ success? I think there MAY be something wrong with him, maybe even a UCL problem. You don’t lose accuracy for no reason.

    Tomlinson (there’s only ONE LT ) is a whiner but in a way I get his little McNabb like passive aggressiveness here (and that IS exactly what he’s doing)because Rivers and a few others made some veiled comments last year about being glad he was gone.

  21. baboushka says: Nov 3, 2011 6:58 PM

    I don’t think being “the guy” has anything to do with the Chargers inconsistnecy, or the plight of Phil Rivers. I think it all about the competition, which is very tough! Rivers is a great young QB. Norv Turner is a Great Offensive coordinator, but terrible Head Coach. His history & record bares this out. The Chargers GM essentially pulled the plug on a SuperBowl grade team way too early in the last decade. And all of that Championship expectation fell on Rivers shoulders prematurely. LT didn’t help matters with his annual playoff fadeouts. Those early teams included Marty Schottenheimer, Drew Brees, LT, Jr Seau, Antonio Gates and a slew of talented players who just missed getting the ring. If left alone by the GM, that team could have easily won one or two of the titles won by the Patriots and Steelers over the last 10 years. Instead Brees won one with N’Orleans. And that may be playing in River’s Psyche too.

    My point is Rivers may be showing some signs of baring high expectations from that screwed up decision making past by the GM Smith. If they had kept Schottenheimer and that team intact. And brought in Norv as an OC to groom Rivers. He or Brees could lead the Chargers to the mountain top. And even though the Bolts are not my team. I wouldn’t count them out this season. Especially Rivers. He is a Superb QB! It’s all about surviving the season marathon and getting hot at the right time. He is capable of doing it. That team is still loaded. LT needs to back off a bit. Lest he meet a red hot Rivers and explosive Chargers team down the road at a time that really matters. Like the playoffs.

  22. kylehamer says: Nov 3, 2011 6:59 PM

    I think it’s high time people started giving Marty credit for what he did with this team. Took a mediocre team and coached them to 14-2.

    Yes he didn’t win the big one, but neither did the 16-0 patriots. If you look at what’s happened to the Chargers you see a team that has been on a steady decline since Marty ball was in town.

    Coaching is 90% of the game at this level… sorry Norv you didn’t have it in Washington, and you don’t have it in San Diego – without rivers – do we really talk about Gates, or Jackson? I think not.

    Time for a coaching change in SD

  23. sbxxix says: Nov 3, 2011 7:13 PM

    LT is old news we all know that. People looked at you weird in the locker room because you liked being “the guy” when things were going great but as soon as your team was down you would go to the sideline and ignore everyone and throw little fits. Not once did I see LT lower his shoulder to get an extra yard or two, he took the sideline with pleasure everytime. Sproles showed way more heart than LT and he’s one of the smallest guys in the league. That’s why it was hard for you to be the guy LT. No heart always focused on individual stats not rings.

    We’re only half way through the season. Rivers will pick it up. The Chargers are known to get off to a slow start. This team has the same record as the Chiefs and Raiders and yet no oen is counting out the Chiefs… Wait a minute most of you did after three games and now you’re on the Chiefs wagon. Still early in the season to count anyone out.

  24. nflsucker says: Nov 3, 2011 7:21 PM

    Chargers have mid-grade or just above talent, and a very limited head coach. In a better division they’d be toast, and get some early draft picks.

  25. dasmol says: Nov 3, 2011 7:23 PM

    @geniusfan says:
    “LT certainly did a great job being “the guy” especially as he sat on the bench in Foxboro during the AFC Championship game loss to the Patriots.”

    Funny how even a genius forgets about a very capable backup named Michael Turner. A backup that would go on to be a successful starter in Atlanta.

    I’d take a 100% Turner over a 70% LT anyday.

    Not sure I’d accept the same deal with Volek over Rivers.

  26. riverhorsey says: Nov 3, 2011 7:25 PM

    testing 1,2,3

  27. icanspeel says: Nov 3, 2011 7:29 PM

    It’s hard to say what is wrong with Rivers, but you can’t use the reason of being surrounded with less talent since last year he was passing to 3rd and 4th stringers most of the year and put up nice numbers.

  28. joetoronto says: Nov 3, 2011 8:51 PM

    “It’s hard to be that guy when it’s your team, so that may have a little bit to do with what’s going on, too,” Tomlinson said.

    That’s what she said.

  29. bossplayer213 says: Nov 3, 2011 8:58 PM

    We all got problems

  30. gioreeko says: Nov 3, 2011 10:13 PM

    Could it be that he has the ugliest throwing motion this side of Tim Tebow? His “shotput” wobbles a good 20 yards, where guys who are way out of the play have time to come and get it. How did this guy become a QB with that horrendous delivery?

  31. jbcommonsense says: Nov 3, 2011 10:25 PM

    Rivers has not been the same since injuring himself. More problems followed when his go-to guy, Gates was out for a while. And I noticed McNeil could not block KC’s best DL [name?]. With Gates and more recovery time Rivers will be fine.

  32. ranksarot says: Nov 3, 2011 10:33 PM

    “you get strange looks in the locker room”
    Hey Tomlinson, paranoid much? Do you also hear voices in your head? Like Jan Brady?

  33. richm2256 says: Nov 3, 2011 10:41 PM

    Tomlison should shut up and focus on his own sucky team.

  34. dirtdawg55 says: Nov 3, 2011 10:44 PM

    Lordy, LT sure is a whiny little turd, isn’t he?

  35. rammer27 says: Nov 3, 2011 10:45 PM

    The only thing”Cry me a” Rivers is distracted by is looking for the refs to whine about something or a team mate to yell at. He is little B%#$h!!!!!!

  36. pacash80 says: Nov 3, 2011 10:48 PM

    Say what you want about never winning a Super Bowl, but it’s hard to argue that the Chargers wouldn’t be better off if they hadn’t fired Schottenheimer.

  37. mrgroovesd says: Nov 3, 2011 11:16 PM

    Everyone is bashing LT for that one game and I get it compared to Rivers playing with a torn ACL. But remember that the RB position is more demanding on the body. On another side LT had to be the guy there before Rivers got there. He was the weapon on that team. Especially that year he got a 100 rec and I think 300 rushing attempts…correct me if I”m wrong but he has done a lot for the Bolts. I know, I’ve watched them from 1-15 to 4-12 to 14-2.

  38. fumblenuts says: Nov 3, 2011 11:25 PM

    Vincent Jackson NEEDS to step it up in the 2nd half of this season…..Are you listening Rivers??

  39. fusilikevin says: Nov 10, 2011 3:18 AM

    L.T. you got scared in a playoff game, and took the cowardly way out. You feigned injury so you wouldn’t have to go back out there. If you had a coach and a GM with an OUNCE of common sense, you woulda been shipped to Buffalo in the off-season, for a case of Grain Belt beer-when it went on sale.
    YOU HAVE NO HONOR, NO COURAGE, and NO SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY TO YOUR TEAM-MATES. You don’t have to go away angry, you just have to GO AWAY!

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