Tuesday, February 23, 2010

NFL Offseason Scoop - The End of Eras for Running Backs

Ah yes, the NFL. Something I don't really specialize in.
This is kind of a big deal though (well, in Philly and in San Diego, that is).

Yesterday, the Chargers organization released RB LaDainian Tomlinson after nine successful seasons. Nine years of success in the NFL = lots of accomplishments. From Casey Pearce's article on the Chargers' website:

"Tomlinson owns or shares 28 team records, including career rushing yards, yards from scrimmage and touchdowns. During his nine seasons in San Diego, Tomlinson won two rushing titles (2006 and ’07), set an NFL single-season record for touchdowns in a season (31 in ’06) and racked up 12,490 rushing yards, the eighth-highest total in NFL history. He was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 2006 and earned Pro Bowl honors five times."

Holy. Cow. All of this before and at the age of 30. Over the past couple of days I've been hearing so many sports analysts saying that after the age of 30, the wear and tear of being a running back in the NFL takes it's toll due to the versatility of the job and all of the injuries--you know where I'm getting at now. Like I've said before, I don't normally follow the NFL, but I know about LT and all of the stuff he's done, and with his contributions he will definitely remain a Charger at heart and will be first in line for the Hall of Fame once eligible.

This afternoon, the Philadelphia Eagles announced the release of RB Brian Westbrook after an eight-year tenure. Rumors were swirling around recently since Westbrook had turned 30 at the beginning of the season and had only played 8 games during this past season due to two concussions sustained within a few weeks of each other. Not only that, but during his 8 seasons as an Eagle, he hadn't played a whole entire season because of injuries to either his knees or his ankles (usually his ankles in case if you were wondering). That doesn't mean he didn't do anything though. He was good enough to set franchise records for his team. According to the article on the Eagles' website:

"Westbrook's numbers speak for themselves: third in the NFL with more than 8,500 yards from scrimmage since 2004, second in team history with 5,995 yards, third in total receptions with 426 and an amazing 9,785 total yards from scrimmage, a franchise high."

Growing up in Philadelphia and having a family full of hardcore Eagles fans, this is kind of a sad day because of the kind of heart that Westbrook played with. Known as "Route 36 West" here, a lot of fans are slowly beginning to understand the reason for his release and knew that the end was coming sooner than expected.

Both running backs will always be respected in their cities, and I wish the both of them the best.

For more information...
Tomlinson's time in San Diego ends
Tough To Say Goodbye To An Eagles Legend


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