Part of the Bay Area News Group

It’s LT again _ with a supporting cast

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, September 10th, 2009 at 1:15 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Don’t look now, but here comes LaDainian Tomlinson.

And he’s got help. Lots of it.

Time was when the Raiders and everyone else could pretty much focus on the NFL’s top running back and still be helpless in his wake.

Then came last season, Tomlinson broke 2,500 carries, was a few months from age 30, and the whispers began.

Tomlinson had fewer than 300 carries (292) for the first time in his career. He gained 1,110 yards, the lowest single-season total of his career. The only time Tomlinson had a lower yards-per-carry and fewer touchdowns was in his rookie season.

The Chargers franchised running back Darren Sproles, making it seem as if the Chargers were preparing for an old L.T., rather than the L.T. of old.

The company line in San Diego is that Tomlinson is bent on proving everyone that last year’s off-year was because of a nagging toe injury and had nothing to do with the wear-and-tear of being an NFL runner.

We’ll find out soon enough, because the Raiders have been Tomlinson’s personal playground. He’s played the equivalent of a 16-game season Oakland and has 1,906 yards rushing, 19 touchdowns on the ground, has averaged 4.7 yards per carry. More than six percent of his career rushing yardage has come against the Raiders.

“I don’t necessarily go into the game thinking I’m going to have a big game,” Tomlinson told Bay Area reporters by conference call Thursday afternoon. “I just go into the gamne and take what they give me a lot of times.”

And before you break in with, “sure, they’ve given him an awful lot,” Tomlinson adds, “I will say, the last few times they have actually played us really well agianst the run.”

True enough. In the last three games agianst the Raiders, Tomlinson has 253 yards on 61 carries, a 4.1 average. The only time Tomlinson broke 100 in those games was in the first meeting between the two teams last year, and he needed a late 41-yard dash in a 28-18 come-from-behind win to get him to 106 yards on 20 carries.

The Chargers won all three games and have won 11 in a row. No team has ever won more consecutive games against the Raiders.

Tomlinson believes he’s still capable of a huge season, but is most happy about being pain free to start the season.

“I’m certainly not thinking of a season like last year. Just having the chance to be healthy again is what I’m most grateful for,” Tomlinson said. “At the same time, I’m happy to be on a team that has a shot of winning a champoinship with so many weapon. I don’t have to do what I did earlier in my career and run the ball so much. Everything centered around me and we relied on me and that running game. Now we can spread the wealth around.”

Quarterback Philip Rivers gives the Chargers the only playoff-level quarterback in the AFC West, and Norv Turner’s offense utilizes Sproles as a spot back and in the screen game to go along with tight end Antonio Gates and emerging wideout Vincent Jackson. Jackson burned the Raiders for five catches, 148 yards and a touchdown in the second meeting with the Raiders last season, a 34-7 win by San Diego.

Turner said San Diego’s ability to pass the ball made it easier to run toward the second half of last year, but believes that if necessary, Tomlinson could carry the ball 30 times, a figure he’s exceeded five times against the Raiders.

“I’m not sure you’d want him to do that week in and week out like he’s done in the past, but I think there’s going to be times when he’s going to have to carry the load and times hwen people load up in there and we do what we can to take advantage of it,” Turner said.

More from the Tomlinson and Turner conference calls:

– Tomlinson thinks Richard Seymour could make an immediate impact if he were to report to Oakland and play against the Chargers.

“He’s a pro. he knows how to play fooball and he knows how to turn it on when it’s time to turn it on,” Tomlinson said. “I think he could absolutely have an effect on the game.”

Turner didn’t sound so sure.

“He’s an outstanding football player . . . I think you find a spot, whether it’s rushing on third down, whatever that might be,” Turner said. “Certainly it’s hard to fit a guy in and get him going in a short period of time.”

– Turner can see a difference in JaMarcus Russell that comes from experience as much as it does the coaching of Paul Hackett and Ted Tollner.

“It’s from playing. People talk about Philip (Rivers), you look at him from two years ago and now he’s more sudden, mnore compact, his feet underneath him, he’s quicker,” Turner said. “Those are the things you see in JaMarcus. You can see they have a plan in terms of what they’re trying to get done with him, his feet are underneath him,and he’s getting the bal out quicker.

“Everyone wants to attribute that to a guy, it’s part of playing in the league and getting used to the league.”

– Regarding outside linebacker Shawne Merriman and his Tila Tequila legal troubles, Turner said, “there’s a legal process that has to take its course.” He said the Chargers have not heard from Commissioner Roger Goodell.

– What has made the Raiders better against the run the last three times out against Tomlinson?

“The guys that got up front. they got Kelly and Gerard Warren, those guys gave us some trouble. Kirk (Morrison) running around and Thomas (Howard) running around, their speed has really caused us a little trouble and allowed them to make some plays.”

– Tomlinson, a rookie in 2001, was mindful of the fact he lost four of his first five games to the Raiders.

“We play them twice a year. You guys talk about 11 straight times. I remember when they were kicking our butts all the time,” he said.

Will check in following Raiders open locker room session this evening and again following practice. Coach Tom Cable isn’t expected to address the media until after 9:15 p.m.

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  • Michael
  • DT42

    I didn’t have a problem with the trade when it happened but if he got the 5 day letter i hope he stays at home. He is already (should be) hated by the entire Raider Nation. Do us all a favor and retire.

    And Al i’ve defended you for years but if you didn’t put a clause in their to protect the team then you suck too. I would hope that if the current Raider team has an ounce of pride they take this as a personal insult and play with some pride. The NFL has no respect for you. Start busting some heads! Its time for the players to step up and handle this. Management doesn’t play the game. Respect is earned on the field, go and get it already.

  • Michael

    Hey 299

    5’11″ Two graduate degrees. It’s hard not to laugh.

  • Michael

    What do you get if you combine the 49ers and the Oakland Clippers? The taxi squad of an NFL team.

  • UP LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER

    repost

    YOU GUYS MARK MY WORDS. IF WE BEAT THE CHARGERS ON MONDAY NIGHT YOU WILL SEE HOW QUICK SEYMORE WILL SHOW UP THE BRONCOS AND CHIEFS WILL BE NEXT AND OUR DIVISION IS WEEK BEHIND US AND THE CHARGERS HE WILL SEE THE POSSIBILTITY OF PLAYOFFS AND WILL BE ON THE FIRST FLIGHT TUESDAY MORNING.

  • Biz Markie

    seymour, hold your ground, you dont deserve this…no football is better then raiduh football….lol..oh snap.

  • Pingback: The RaiderCast | It’s LT again _ with a supporting cast

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    This Seymour odyessy should teach the Raiders and all football observers a lesson!

    It is always better to develop your own talent. The Raiders tried to get over on the cheap by shortshrifting the front 7 and O-Line. The hope was John Marshall could duct tape this thing and therefore not have to invest a top draft pick in the lines. Due to the preference to use the top picks for skill postion players.

    The other issue is that trying to get elite talent by trade is not easy and you end up bringing in malcontents in a lot of cases. Very disruptive.

    Regardless, I applaud Al Davis for trying to resolve a situation that is really unacceptable. The run defense. Davis was bold and aggressive in trying to do something. Just wish it was a few months earlier.

    Hopefully Seymour shows up!

  • RaidingTexas

    Man, the haters are here in full force. You think one of these posters might be Eugene Parker?

  • DT42
  • Michael

    Here is the dialog between Belichick and Davis:

    BB: Hey, Al. Richard Seymour might be available.

    AD: Are you here to take away my bedpan?

    BB: No, Richard Seymour. Five time pro bowler.

    AD: Do they give me Jello today. I like it when they put the fruit in there.

    BB: We love him, but he is available. How about a 3rd rounder?

    AD: I want my Jello first before the peas. How come my great grandchildren never visit anymore?

    BB: A first rounder? OK, we will do that.

    AD: They don’t let me have sharp objects anymore.

    BB: It is OK. Just use a pencil.

  • Canadian Raider

    Who belives Cable actually spoke with Seymour?

  • Michael

    How about the Rae Carruth deal? OK, the Panthers will do it for next year’s second rounder.

  • Plunketthead

    Tomlin = The most violent team will win

  • 16yearsold16yearfan

    Snb he was trying way back in april to get wilfork when he was tryong to trade burgess but the pats didn’t want to give him up so my thinking is that al has been trying to find a way to get him since then but finally settled on seymour

  • Michael

    Raiders fans of the year:

    ttp://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3Dtrailer%2Btrash%2Bfamily%26ei%3Dutf-8%26y%3DSearch%26fr%3Dyfp-t-871&w=500&h=375&imgurl=static.flickr.com%2F34%2F65644048_d9a92a81fc.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.flickr.com%2Fphotos%2Ftxchick1989%2F65644048%2F&size=153k&name=Trailer+trash&p=trailer+trash+family&oid=10a156319853b7da&fr2=&fusr=txchick15&no=1&tt=131&sigr=11isn8tjl&sigi=11ctf6mvk&sigb=132ra91uv

  • http://CableBumaye 909RaiderLifer

    Would not be surprised if Al sent that 5 day letter via Pony Express…..

  • Michael

    Al probably sent RS his false teeth by mistake and he sent the 5 day letter to his proctologist

  • Raiderwoj

    Richochet Says:
    September 10th, 2009 at 5:36 pm
    909RaiderLifer Says:
    September 10th, 2009 at 4:56 pm
    If the Raiders were to contact Seymour to find out his “feelings” before the deal was made, would that not be considered tampering and subject Al to a hefty fine from the commish?

    —————
    Definitely.

    As well, when Dieon Sanders made the comment, on NFL Network, that 2 teams had contacted the 49ers regarding trading for Crabtree, and supposedly willing to pay his outlandish requests, that’s tampering..big time.

    Considering Sanders works for the league, he should either admit he made that up, turn over the teams that supposedly tampered, or look for a new line of work.

    The plot thickens…

    __________________________________
    How is it tampering if an interested team, say Ten., contacts the 9ers(who hold the rights to crabtree). It would be tampering if they contacted crabtree or his agent, or anybody that isnt the team that holds his rights.

    Once again, think before you speak.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Canadian Raider Says:
    September 10th, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Who belives Cable actually spoke with Seymour?
    ————
    Not me!

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Madden would be very embarrassed League wide, working here.

    The Raiders are now the Cincy Bengals of the 21st century.

  • 16yearsold16yearfan

    Cable never talked to seymour and he was obviously lying when he said seymour wanted to be here

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    That’s run defense!

  • Canadian Raider

    Who wants a liar for a head coach, first he denied the punch out and now this.

  • chicagoraider

    KoolKell Says:
    September 10th, 2009 at 5:50 pm
    Canadian Raider Says:
    September 10th, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Who belives Cable actually spoke with Seymour?
    ————
    Not me!
    the raiders told calbe to say that

  • 16yearsold16yearfan

    Woj the teams didn’t contact the 49ers they contacted crabtree I hate to agree with ricochet but he’s right

  • edward teach

    SnB… All due respect, but Al is paying Tommy Kelly and Gerard Warren a ton of money to play defensive tackle. He just wasn’t going to tie up more money at the position with a high draft choice, and there just weren’t any 4-3 defensive ends in this years’ draft worth taking that high. That’s why he went out and got Ellis, and that’s why he is trying to get Seymour. Those two are just much better than anyone he could have drafted to play there this year. A case could have been made for Maualuga, I suppose, but maybe they just didn’t think he was that good, I don’t know. A lot of teams passed on him before the Bungles called his name. This years’ draft is, apparently, much better for the defensive line; that may have been part of it, too.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    16yearsold16yearfan Says:
    September 10th, 2009 at 5:48 pm
    Snb he was trying way back in april to get wilfork when he was tryong to trade burgess but the pats didn’t want to give him up so my thinking is that al has been trying to find a way to get him since then but finally settled on seymour
    =======================================================
    Maybe he was trying. Maybe not. The priority for the Raiders is to be stacked at the skill positions with elite level players and to “get-by” with developmental guys on the Lines.

    It reached a peak this time because that defensive line doesn’t stand a chance against physical O-Lines.

    A top draft pick should have been used on the lines…hence the 9th inning grab for Seymour. Mitchell might become a great player…same with D-HB…but notice that even with Mitchell a non-factor in the preseason…the Raiders had enough depth to move forward. Not the case on the lines.

    I really hope Seymour gets here. He can make a substantive difference and get this team a few extra wins. He really is a missing piece for this defense

  • 16yearsold16yearfan

    All head coaches are liars name one that tells the truth even 75% of the time

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    New rules? Whatever…guess some nerds will have to find other websites to stroke themselves on.

    Seymour sighting! Who’s laughing now? Time to abandon the life boats and get back on the ship…

    808 shout…

  • Biz Markie

    seymour is my new hero,..stay away bro, do not let them ruin your career,…you dont deserve this treatment. oh snap.

  • Raiderwoj

    16years read what rich wrote:

    “that 2 teams had contacted the 49ers regarding trading for Crabtree”

    not that they had contacted crabtree, i’m just talking about what rich wrote, period.

  • Ryan

    Hey, look at it this way.

    Richard Seymour is an Oakland Raider and there is nothing New England can do about it.

  • Biz Markie

    ryan, you serious?…lol oh snap…the pats got what they wanted!!!

  • Michael

    Has a team ever fired a coach before he coached his first game?

  • 16yearsold16yearfan

    Well he was wrong then because the teams didn’t contact the 49ers the contacted carbtree and eugene parker

  • DT42

    SnB

    I hope Seymour NEVER plays for Oakland, he’s turning down millions because he doesn’t want to be on the team. You can not win with a player like that. I hate to say it but the Pats got over on us. When have we ever had Raiders that didn’t want to be with the team and still produced at a high level. Best case scenario is that this embarrasses the team into winning. I don’t think i’ve ever hated a player more than Seymour. He’s spitting in Al’s face, in the players faces and every one of the fans faces. This is the type of thing that destroys a season before it even starts. I was hoping for a 9 win season but we would be lucky to pull out 3 wins. The whole team was excited about this bum showing up, watch how they collapse when they hear about the 5 day letter.

  • http://CableBumaye 909RaiderLifer

    Lowdown….

    Whats up?

    Wow– Polumalu (sp?) is in on durn near every play.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    How bout the timing of this latest County Fair Circus?

    MNF Opening Nite vs. Chargers.

  • Ryan

    Even if Seymour doesn’t play against SD, I’d take 15 games from him.

    The Raiders still have a first round pick money on the table for Seymour.

    I just hope the Raiders were smart enough to send the 5 day letter right away.

  • Ryan

    Some great tackling tonight. By both teams.

  • RaiderKen

    Until I hear Seymour say he doesn’t want to play for the Raiders I will continue to think he is working on a long term deal thus keeping quiet. Usually a player will talk to the media right away ala Terrell Owens when his agent screwed up and they traded him to Baltimore. Right away TO said I’m not playing for them. I think the league stepped in and a new deal was made. Anyways Seymour isn’t saying it and his agent isn’t saying it. This makes me think they are trying to get a long term deal done.

  • Chris in NY

    # KoolKell Says:
    September 10th, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Another Measurement of the Raider Organization:

    Last week we looked at the raw numbers of what each team in the NFL spent from 2004-08, with the clear indication being that many of the most successful organizations spent in the middle of the pack, while several of the top five spending teams suffered.

    Now, we’re going to rank the teams in terms of “bang for their buck” — how much each club spent per win the past five seasons. The sheer disparity between, say, what the New England Patriots spent on each victory, versus the Oakland Raiders at the bottom of the list, indicated the inefficiencies in dollar terms. And remember, this is not salary cap spending, this is actual dollars as per the NFL Management Council.

    Read: Colts 2009 Team Preview

    Okay, here’s the list:

    Team Wins Committed Cash Cost Per Win

    1.) Patriots 63 512.31M 8.14 M

    2.) Colts 63 532.77 M 8.44 M

    3.) Chargers 54 485.46 M 8.99 M

    4.) Steelers 56 516.69 M 9.22 M

    5.) Broncos 47 485.40 M 10.37 M

    6.) Giants 47 497.63 M 10.58 M

    7.) Jaguars 45 480.06 M 10.66 M

    8. ) Eagles 46 495.75 M 10.77 M

    9.) Bears 45 495.57 M 11.01 M

    10.) Packers 41 457.16 M 11.15 M

    11.) Panthers 45 516.09 M 11.46 M

    12.) Ravens 44 507.05 M 11.52 M

    13.) Titans 40 465.28 M 11.63 M

    14.) Bucs 38 449.00 M 11.81 M

    15.) Seahawks 45 552.42 M 12.27 M

    16.) Falcons 41 493.07 M 12.07 M

    17.) Cowboys 46 566.89 M 12.32 M

    18.) Vikings 41 526.87 M 12.85 M

    19.) Bengals 38 491.05 M 12.92 M

    20.) Jets 37 502.53 M 13.58 M

    21.) Bills 35 483.71 M 13.82 M

    22.) Chiefs 32 451.58 M 14.11 M

    23.) Saints 36 518.49 M 14.40 M

    24.) Redskins 38 547.37 M 14.40 M

    25.) Cardinals 34 505.30 M 14.86 M

    26.) Dolphins 31 500.56 M 16.14 M

    27.) Texans 31 522.23 M 16.84 M

    28.) Browns 28 506.43 M 18.08 M

    29.) Rams 27 502.08 M 18.59 M

    30.) 49ers 25 486. 40 M 19.45 M

    31.) Lions 21 505.04 M 24.04 M

    32.) Raiders 20 513.21 M 25.66 M

    The bottom quarter of the league all spent roughly twice as much per win as the Pats, and all of those clubs, save the Houston Texans, have made coaching and/or management changes in the past year (it also explains why some believe this is a make-or-break season for the Houston brass). The Raiders are, in these terms, three-times as poorly operated as the Patriots.

    ————————-

    Thanks, but this is a completely meaningless statistic.

    Of course teams with the fewest wins pay the most per win. Because there are fewer wins by which to divide the amount of money spent.

    This is like saying Califonia has fewer Governors per citizen than North Dakota. The difference has little/nothing to do with the numerator (money spent on players; sitting governors) and everything to do with the denominator (wins; citizen population).

  • 16yearsold16yearfan

    Its crazy how the titans keep 10 or 11 dts but we only keep about 4

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    DT42 Says:
    September 10th, 2009 at 6:05 pm
    SnB

    I hope Seymour NEVER plays for Oakland, he’s turning down millions because he doesn’t want to be on the team. You can not win with a player like that. I hate to say it but the Pats got over on us. When have we ever had Raiders that didn’t want to be with the team and still produced at a high level. Best case scenario is that this embarrasses the team into winning. I don’t think i’ve ever hated a player more than Seymour. He’s spitting in Al’s face, in the players faces and every one of the fans faces. This is the type of thing that destroys a season before it even starts. I was hoping for a 9 win season but we would be lucky to pull out 3 wins. The whole team was excited about this bum showing up, watch how they collapse when they hear about the 5 day letter.
    =======================================================
    Bottom line. I don’t think the Raiders can win on defense without him.

    The D-Line is bad because it has no RDE that plays the run and the NT is not a lane clogger.

    I am not here to debate the weaknesses. The Raiders need Seymour THIS YEAR….even if its only 70% of him.

    Our linebackers are weak and Trevor Scott has not proven an ability to play the run. Richardson is a question mrk

  • RaiderKen

    Ryan
    Since the trade is not finalized isn’t it the Pats that have to send the 5 day letter? Maybe the teams are fighting over who has to send it. Because if the pats send it and 5 days go by they will loose the deal. If the Raiders send it the deal goes through. And that’s without showing up for a physical.

  • http://CableBumaye 909RaiderLifer

    new post…

  • http://Raiders.com RaiderTW

    Why would Dakota be banned? He must have using alias’
    —–
    No, Dakota wouldn’t do that I think he just pushed it as far as he could. Talking to the Mod about hard far he thought we should be able to go.
    FREE DAKOTA!!!

  • KRAWFDADD

    CABLE IS BEING DECEPTIVE JUST LK N THT SAINTS PRESEASON GM HE DIDNT RELEASE THE HORSES OR OPEN UP THE PLAYBOOK LEAVE SD N LIMBO THEY DNT KNW HOW WE GN CM @ THM I HOPE THOSE DTS STEP IT UP THOUGH,REAL TALK………LETS GO RAIDAZZZZ!!!!!

  • KRAWFDADD

    LT IS A WUSSYBOI,HE HAD HIS BEST CHANCE WHN HE STAYED ON THE SIDELINE N TH PLAYOFF GM @LEAST B A DECOY DWN ON THT GOALINE”CHUMP”