On Thursday I had the opportunity to sit down with trainer Todd Durkin, head of the Fitness Quest 10 training center in San Diego. He works with Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints and our conversation centered around his work with him and how one of his sponsors, Under Armour, is helping him revolutionize the training experience.
Durkin also works with LaDainian Tomlinson of the San Diego Chargers so I had to ask him:
Does LT still have it?
"To be honest with you," Durkin told me, "I don't think LT's performance has dropped off that much. When I train him, his strength, speed and power is still there. What I see is a change in organization. The commitment to run is no longer what it used to be."
So, it's more the Chargers philosophy and less LT's skills?
"[The Chargers are] more of a finesse team now. They don't have the pounders and grounders. He lost his fullback, Lorenzo Neal, and that's affected him."
"I believe if he's in the right system, whether that's the Chargers or someone else, and he has a fullback that can open some holes, and the system is committed to running, I think LaDainian will continue to do well. They put a lot of this talk into being 30, well LaDainian has put a lot into his training."
Statistically, Tomlinson has dropped off quite a bit and he's already come to terms with the fact that he won't be returning to the Chargers this season.
As a fan of a team that Tomlinson has lit up over the last near-decade, I can say I'm very happy that Tomlinson is leaving the Chargers.