LaDainian Tomlinson will go down as one of the greatest running backs in NFL history. He has been an NFL MVP, he has been an All-Pro multiple times, and is near the top of every career rushing category. However, if there is one black mark on the resume of LT, it’s his lack of success in the playoffs. Whether it has been because of injury or ineffectiveness, LT just hasn’t been the same player when January rolls around and just hasn’t tasted the kind of success that you would expect from a player his caliber. This past weekend, Tomlinson had one of his better playoff performances in recent memory for the Jets and was a big reason for their win over Indianapolis.
After getting past the Colts, the Jets and Tomlinson will get another shot at the New England Patriots. The last time Tomlinson played against the Patriots in the playoffs, he was forced to watch the game from the sidelines with a coat on his back and his helmet on his head.
Tomlinson went to New York in the offseason to capture a Championship. If that remains his goal, he will have to get past a team that has knocked him out of the playoffs twice in his career already.
LaDainian Tomlinson joined XX Sports Radio in San Diego with Scott and BR to talk about how he is feeling, how Rex Ryan has been able to handle all the distractions this season, what he thinks of Ryan as a coach, what the mindset is for the Jets coming off their beatdown against the Patriots last time, and whether or not the game against the Patriots this weekend is personal for him.
On how he feels heading into the game against New England:
“The body is feeling good. As well as it can at this time of year obviously. It’s suck it up time and go.”
On Rex Ryan’s ability to handle the distractions:
“Yeah, obviously it started early with us. There can be a distraction, but early on Rex just did a great job of getting guys to focus on the job and getting guys to understand that it’s us against the world. Nobody wants us to win. It’s kinda like the mentality you have when you go on the road and guys have bought in.”
On what they have to do to avoid another beat down against New England:
“That’s exactly what’s going to have to happen. We’re going to have to do everything opposite of what we did the first time in Foxboro. First off, it’s a tough place to play. The fans are great, it’s loud, those guys feed off their fans, and Tom Brady hardly ever loses at home. We’re going to have to play a perfect game. We haven’t game-planned yet, but speaking as a guy that has been in the league a few years, keep the ball away from those guys, get some three and outs, and hope (Tom) Brady is off target a little bit.”
On whether or not he still thinks the Jets can win the Super Bowl:
“Yeah I really do because in one game anything can happen. It’s just another opportunity. God is so awesome. Just to be in this position to have an opportunity, anything can happen. We’re gonna go up there and we’re gonna go out fighting, win or lose.”
On whether or not the game against the Patriots is personal:
“Personal is kind of a strong word. For me it’s kinda ironic to be here in this situation. Out of all the cards that coulda been played out, this is the way God sees it to play out. That’s how I believe. I think he’s putting me in this position for a reason and I get to redeem myself.”
Listen to LaDainian Tomlinson on XX Sports Radio here (Audio begins 4:00 into podcast)