Chatting with L.T.: "There's a Chip on My Shoulder Now More Than Ever"

Kyle McMorrowCorrespondent IApril 16, 2010

SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 3:  Runningback LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the San Diego Chargers looks on from the sidelines en route to the Charger's 23-20 win over the Washington Redskins on January 3, 2010 at Quolcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

There are a lot of critics out there, many of them reside in the New York media, so it's no wonder former San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson would be prodded, poked, dissected, and placed under a microscope, even before he sees his first snap in a Jets uniform.

While the football world places Tomlinson on the next train out of the NFL, the future Hall of Famer has no intentions of slowing down, and has every intention of proving everyone who ever doubted him wrong.

When asked about how he felt about people thinking he had nothing left, Tomlinson responded "I had a chip on my shoulder, but I think there's more of a chip on my shoulder now more than ever, just because people seem to believe that once you turn 30-years-old, you can't play no more, so I want to prove that age has nothing to do with that. It's all about the heart, determination, and drive."

Although there were many organizations who were rumored to be interested in Tomlinson, there were really only two squads courting L.T. with hopes of landing the veteran star—the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings.

While the Vikings may have had the better team and easier division at the time, there was a key factor going for Jets: familiarity.

"I played in a Jets style of offense my whole career. With the Vikings I would of had to learn a whole new system. Also, I've worked for years with Brian Schottenheimer, the offensive coordinator for the Jets, and so my relationship with him had a lot to do with it."

Tomlinson has found himself in the ideal situation this season, as he will certainly get his chances to show the world that 30 is just a number, as well as get the opportunity to win a Super Bowl ring.

The Jets have greatly improved their roster this season with the additions of wide receiver Santonio Holmes and cornerback Antonio Cromartie, despite their off-the-field troubles, which Tomlinson doesn't think will be an issue.

"Those guys is young guys, like everybody they're going to make mistakes, and now they got a second chance. They saw what they did wrong, the first time with they first team, and now this they chance to say ya know what, this time I'm going to make it right, and I guarantee those guys feel like that.

While not only Jets fans, but all football fans eagerly await to see just how much Tomlinson has left, no anticipation can possibly match what he has been feeling since moving to New York.

If nothing else, the Jets acquired a huge character boost and one of the most stand up individuals the league has ever seen.