By Ryan Thomas
Taking pride in doing whatever his coach asked him to do on the field is exactly the type of player LaDainian Tomlinson was. The NFL's fifth all-time rushing yards leader, acknowledged his retirement, Tuesday, on the Dan Patrick Show.
"The kind of game I wanted was to be all around," said Tomlinson. "So I didn't have to come off the field on third downs, I would step in and block, and I also could get the tough yards."
Tomlinson's work ethic accompanied by his immense skill set, not only allowed for those to respect the fact that he was a five-time Pro Bowler, but also the fact that he was an even better person. In 2006 he won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which is given annually by the NFL, honoring not only on-the-field performance but also volunteer and charity work.
In regards to where Tomlinson ranks himself as a player, his play speaks loud enough. "If people say I'm first ballot or not, whatever, I'll let my play speak for itself, I tried to do the best I could." Overall, the former Chargers running back's resume includes a very hefty amount of accolades.
Tomlinson is a four time First-team All Pro member, led the league in rushing twice, won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award in 2006, and even made the NFL's 2000s All-Decade Team.
Sure, Tomlinson could have played another season. But, at the age of 32 teams don't often come knocking down the door with the opportunity of a feature role. Instead he vowed to end his career the same way he started it, with class.