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Ryan Mathews did the LT ball flip celebration after touchdown (GIF)

Ryan Mathews had a LaDainian Tomlinson-type game for the San Diego Chargers on Thursday night, so it was fitting that he celebrated his touchdown run like he was LT.

Mathews went for 127 yards on 29 carries — his fifth 100-yard game of the season — and he scored on a 23-yard touchdown run against the Denver Broncos in the third quarter to make it 24-10. After going into the end zone, Mathews struck the LaDainian Tomlinson pose and did the ball flip:

Ryan Mathews LaDainian Tomlinson

Mathews did the celebration while airborne, which made him look a bit like Liu Kang flying through the air, but that was definitely a nod to the Chargers legend. The Fresno State product is not having his best career season with San Diego, but he’s definitely putting together a nice one for the Chargers.

GIF via Fansided

Bart Scott: LaDainian Tomlinson ‘out of line’ for anonymous Jets accusations

In the latest development of the story that may never end, Bart Scott is unhappy with LaDainian Tomlinson after Tomlinson accused him of being one of the anonymous New York Jets players who ripped Tim Tebow earlier this week. L.T said on Wednesday that he believes Antonio Cromartie was the player who called Tebow “terrible” while Scott was the one who said the Wildcat would never work with Tebow running it.

Scott said Tomlinson should stop the guessing and finger-pointing.

“That can’t be farther from the truth,” the Jets linebacker told the NY Post on Thursday. “One thing about me is I ain’t ever hid behind (junk) that I’ve ever said. I’m not afraid to put my name to it, go to a person and say it to them.

“Why would I have those comments and then have another article about we’re a family? The same day, am I bipolar? LaDainian is out of line in thinking I have that type of character. I don’t know what he believes I showed to him when he was here. If anything, I hope I showed him I was a leader and I never try to be a distraction.”

At a charity event on Tuesday, Scott was quoted as saying the Jets are a family and that they would stick together to overcome adversity. Unless Tomlinson is going off more than just his gut instinct and a complete guess, I agree with Scott that he is out of line to point the finger. As for the anonymous players themselves, Scott doesn’t sound convinced that they exist.

“I’ve been here four years,” he said. “It’s always an anonymous source. An anonymous source can be the janitor. An anonymous source can be the cable guy. An anonymous source can be the equipment guy. Anybody can be an anonymous source. If you don’t tell them to put their name to it, what credibility do you have?

“I think the anonymous person is probably some smoke in the air or a fart off somebody’s (butt).”

An anonymous source can be anyone, but the NY Daily News‘ Manish Mehta was specific in mentioning which quotes and comments came from actual players. Mehta is a reputable reporter for the Jets, so I highly doubt he would completely fabricate quotes just to create a good story. I believe that someone actually said it, but that doesn’t give Tomlinson the right to ruin reputations by speculating as to who.

Photo credit: The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

LaDainian Tomlinson thinks Antonio Cromartie, Bart Scott were anonymous Jets who ripped Tim Tebow

LaDainian Tomlinson knows more than the average person about life in the New York Jets locker room. Many of the current Jets are his former teammates, and L.T. feels confident he knows who was behind the anonymous Tim Tebow bashing that came out on Wednesday.

According to Newsday, L.T. said during his Sirius/XM radio segment on Wednesday that he believes Antonio Cromartie is the player who called Tebow “terrible,” and that Bart Scott is the one who said Tebow running the Wildcat would never work.

“Cromartie has never had a problem putting his name on things,” Tomlinson said. “…Once you start talking to the media about teammates, (coach) Rex (Ryan) is going to address it. He’s not going to let it go. And so, now you have guys that don’t want to put your name on it because, obviously, Rex Ryan has said something about it.”

In other words, Cromartie is not the type to conceal his identity, but L.T. believes he chose to this time so he doesn’t have to hear it from Rex Ryan. God forbid he should just keep quiet and say nothing — assuming Tomlinson is right and the player actually is Cromartie. L.T. also questioned the Jets’ decision to acquire Tebow in the first place.

“They weren’t getting a guy that could really compete for a starting quarterback’s job,” he said. “They were getting a change of pace kind of guy, a Wildcat kind of guy. Why would (general manager) Mike Tannenbaum make that move?”

Tomlinson said New York’s locker room problems last season were the worst he has been around, and after Wednesday’s debacle you have to wonder if this season is just as chaotic. We know Santonio Holmes doesn’t think a two-quarterback system would work in the NFL, but he hasn’t even been around to say anything to the media. Whether it was Cromartie, Scott and/or other players who made the comments about Tebow really doesn’t matter at this point. All that matters is Ryan is once again in danger of losing his locker room — assuming he hasn’t already lost it.

Photo credit: The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

LaDainian Tomlinson says he would take a Hall of Fame spot over a Super Bowl ring

Now that LaDainian Tomlinson has officially closed the book on his NFL career, the next stop for the former Charger is Canton, Ohio. In his 11-year career, Tomlinson racked up 162 total touchdowns and over 18,000 total yards. He holds the NFL record for total touchdowns, rushing touchdowns and total points in a single season among many other records. The video game numbers L.T. put up during the prime of his career make him a lock for the Hall of Fame.

One thing Tomlinson was never able to accomplish, however, was winning the big one. He came up just short several times with both the Chargers and Jets, but L.T. says he’d rather be inducted to the Hall of Fame than win a Super Bowl anyway.

“(I’d rather be a) Hall of Fame player without a ring, because you’ve got to sacrifice so much individually just to be good,” Tomlinson said on NBC SportsTalk. “They draft you individually and you’ve got to back them up and make them right. I think at the end of the day, even though I didn’t win a Super Bowl ring, I felt like I backed them up for drafting me. I backed up the San Diego Chargers for picking me with the fifth pick.”

While you have to do much more for a longer period of time to be inducted to the Hall of Fame than you do to win a Super Bowl, his opinion is not exactly valid. If you asked Dan Marino the same question, I bet you’d get a different answer. Until you have won a Super Bowl, you don’t know what it feels like the be a part of a team that can call itself the best in the league. I’m sure there are plenty of Super Bowl-winning Hall of Famers out there that would keep their ring over their spot in Canton if they could only have one.

This is not the type of stuff fans want to hear. Players spend their entire careers trying to prove that team accomplishments are more important than individual accolades. L.T.’s reasoning is much more friendly for his post-football life, so in a way I don’t blame him for copping out.

Photo credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

LaDainian Tomlinson says Mark Sanchez would want out of New York if Jets signed Peyton Manning

With Peyton Manning on the market and the Jets seemingly an elite quarterback away from a trip to the Super Bowl, there has been speculation that Rex Ryan and company will make a run at the four-time MVP. Ryan has been adamant about the fact that Mark Sanchez will be the starting quarterback as long as he’s in New York, but if there’s anyone who could make him go back on that it’s Manning. LaDainian Tomlinson believes that if that happened Sanchez would want out.

“In my opinion, I don’t know if he would handle it well,” Tomlinson said Wednesday during an NFL Network appearance. “I think he would probably go in and maybe ask to be released because here is Mark Sanchez’s gripe: ‘I took you guys to two straight AFC Championship Games; yeah I didn’t get it done last year, but my first and second year I took you to two AFC Championship Games. How can you turn around and just bring in another quarterback right now?’

“Rightfully so, he would be a little mad. That’s all a part of it. But at the same time, if he could grow up a little bit and try to learn from somebody like Peyton Manning, then maybe in a couple of years — two or three years — if they did decide to go with Peyton Manning, he could learn from that and then also be the quarterback again.”

I don’t know if Sanchez would ask for his release, but he certainly wouldn’t be happy. Regardless of how he has played, he has led the Jets to two AFC Championships and never been anything but a starter in the NFL. Tomlinson is right that he could learn from Manning, but that is far easier to do as a rookie or reserve. It would be extremely tough for Sanchez to ride the bench after he has become so accustomed to starting. Fortunately for him, everyone seems to believe Peyton would never risk stepping on Eli’s toes by playing in the same city.

LaDainian Tomlinson on bounties: ‘I don’t think you can discipline them too much’

It could be a while before we find out how Roger Goodell is going deal with the alleged bounty scandal that is ripping through the Saints organization and every other team that Gregg Williams has been a part of. One thing we can be certain of is that Goodell is going to take the matter more seriously than LaDainian Tomlinson does. L.T. believes placing bounties on opponents is simply a form of motivation, and that the Saints do not deserve to be harshly disciplined.

“We’ll have to wait and see what the commissioner does as far as discipline, but in all honesty I mean I think it’s kind of part of the game,” Tomlinson said during an interview with XX 1090 Sports Radio in San Diego. “I mean to be honest with you I don’t think you can discipline them guys too much.

“I don’t think it’s cheating at all. Absolutely not. Because like I said it is a form of motivation. If I’ve got a group of guys and they are going against the top offense in the league – if I want to challenge my guys – I say, ‘Guys if we pick off this guy twice I’m giving somebody such and such. Whoever does it. Hey! That is not cheating!’ That is just motivating your players to play a little bit harder and play a little bit better.”

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LaDainian Tomlinson: Jets Locker Room Problems as Bad as He’s Been Around

On Sunday LaDainian Tomlinson pinned the Jets’ locker room problems on a rift between Mark Sanchez and the wide receivers. He took his statements even further during an interview on Inside the NFL.

“And I’ve been around some locker rooms and quarterback-receiver situations and what-not,” Tomlinson said. “But it was as bad as I’ve been around. You know it was at the point where I think the players could no longer do anything about it. There was nothing that the players could do. So when it gets to that point there are certain changes that need to happen.”

Tomlinson says the Santonio Holmes-Mark Sanchez feud was really bad.

“It got out-of-hand toward the end of the season,” he said. “That is why it got out in the media. This is something that happened (in the) third or fourth week of the season, that was going on, and nobody knew about it because the players kept it under wraps. Until we went on that losing streak and guys started to speak up and speak out about certain things.”

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