EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 11: LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the New York Jets holds off Sabby Piscitelli #42 of the Kansas City Chiefs during their game at MetLife Stadium on December 11, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
LaDainian Tomlinson was one of the best running backs in NFL history, and perhaps the most telling statistic of all is his 162 career touchdowns -- a total only eclipsed by Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith. With today's announcement of his retirement with the San Diego Chargers, it's no surprise to find several players speaking out about LT's impact on the NFL.
Former Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman:
LaDainian Tomlinson was not only the best player I had a chance to play with but one of the people I've ever had a chance to be around #HOF— Shawne Merriman (@shawnemerriman) June 17, 2012
"LT changed the way the running back is looked at,. You think about him being a complete three-down back and using that as a receiver as well. You hadn't seen that many backs have that type of versatility. He was one of those backs that you had to get in position on all downs on the ball. I think that's the way he really changed the game."
Chargers FB Jacob Hester:
Glad to see LT retire a Charger! I had the pleasure of being in the same backfield as him. An Unbelievable career. First ballot HOF'er. #21— Jacob Hester (@JacobHester22) June 17, 2012
"LaDainian had a tremendous impact on the NFL in his career. He was the prototype that everybody wanted their running back to be like… LaDainian was tough to defend. I wish I had the honor to play with him on a football team, other than the Pro Bowl teams. He’s a legend of this game."