Tomlinson feels good, learning Jets' offense - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Tomlinson feels good, learning Jets' offense

Posted: Updated:

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — LaDainian Tomlinson took the handoff, saw a hole and flashed the form that once made him one of the NFL's most exciting players.

Sure, he'll be 31 soon, but New York Jets coach Rex Ryan likes the youthful moves he's seeing from the eighth-leading rusher in NFL history.

"We had this little fold play and he just started boom, boom, boom, like this," Ryan said Thursday, zigzagging his hand. "Two or three different cuts. Clearly he would have made about 20 yards. I was like, 'Yeah, this is our guy.'"

Granted, there's no tackling during organized team activities, but it's clear that Tomlinson isn't coming to New York to just be a spare part.

"You always kind of gauge how you're doing and I think with anything, you gain confidence as you go and you always have that belief," Tomlinson said. "When you do it, it always reaffirms that belief that you had. You gain the confidence to keep going and do more."

A half-dozen practices in, Tomlinson believes he can still be a major contributor.

"I feel pretty confident," he said. "I mean, it's football, something I've been doing all my life. I don't think that will ever change."

When the Jets signed Tomlinson in March, many believed the aging star was way past his prime — the years of heavy workloads and 12,490 yards finally taking their toll. And, it's hard to argue with the stats: He had a career-low 730 yards rushing and 3.3 yards per carry last season for San Diego and was a non-factor against the Jets in the playoffs when he had 24 yards on 12 carries.

"His last game, as everybody is quick to point out, he never had a big game against us, but that was our day, I think," Ryan said, referring to the Jets' 17-14 win. "I believe he's got a lot more left. When you watch him out here bouncing around doing a great job with protections, running the football, he's still got that wiggle."

The Jets' backfield has a new look this season after Thomas Jones, who ran for a career-high 1,402 yards in 2009, was cut and signed with Kansas City. The elusive but injured Leon Washington was also traded to Seattle during the draft. Shonn Greene showed lots of promise as a rookie, but the Jets jumped at signing Tomlinson and then drafted the versatile Joe McKnight out of Southern California.

While Greene is expected to handle the bulk of the carries as the starter, Tomlinson should see lots of playing time.

"It's the same offense," said Tomlinson, who turns 31 on June 23. "So, most of the things, I can relate to what I've done before so I'm able to pick it up and keep going. A little difference is I'm moving around, especially in passing situations, and moving all over the place — motioning, shifts — so those are the kinds of things I've got to get used to."

The phrases used on offense are another thing Tomlinson is trying to get comfortable with.

"Just learning that terminology, different terminology how they call different plays here, that's probably been the toughest for me," Tomlinson said.

But, Tomlinson insists even that is going well. Plus, he feels good physically, something he couldn't say for part of last season when he dealt with a sprained right ankle that sidelined him for two games.

"I feel great," he said. "I'm just rolling right along."

Add in the fact he'll be playing in an offense that's focused on the run — the Jets ranked No. 1 in rushing last season — Tomlinson might still have a few highlights left. Even some of his teammates have labeled him as one of the Jets' standouts during OTAs.

"Well, that makes me feel great," he said. "These guys, they really didn't know me or what I was going to kind of bring to the team. To just go out there and show what I can do, I think it changes a lot of guys' perceptions of what they thought before I came here."

Meanwhile, Tomlinson has made a point of quickly warming up to his new neighborhood.

"It's great to go into some of these restaurants and stick your head in some of these little delis and get sandwiches and talk to some of the owners, and even some of the police officers around town," he said. "It's been even more than what I expected. The people have been so nice. My family is happy to be here."

 

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

  • SportsMore>>

  • AP source: Falcons won't offer WR Jones new deal this year

    AP source: Falcons won't offer WR Jones new deal this year

    Thursday, July 19 2018 1:23 PM EDT2018-07-19 17:23:25 GMT
    Friday, July 20 2018 7:49 AM EDT2018-07-20 11:49:12 GMT
    (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File). FILE - In this Nov. 26, 2017, file photo, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones walks off the field after an NFL football game between the Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in Atlanta. A person familiar with the ...(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File). FILE - In this Nov. 26, 2017, file photo, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones walks off the field after an NFL football game between the Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in Atlanta. A person familiar with the ...
    AP source: Atlanta Falcons won't offer a new contract to star receiver Julio Jones. 
    AP source: Atlanta Falcons won't offer a new contract to star receiver Julio Jones. 
  • Suspect detained in killing of Olympic figure skating star

    Olympic figure skater, medalist Denis Ten dies after stabbing in Kazakhstan

    Thursday, July 19 2018 7:29 PM EDT2018-07-19 23:29:05 GMT
    Jul 20, 2018 2:48 AM2018-07-20 06:48:00 GMT

    Kazakh figure skater and Olympic medalist Denis Ten died Thursday after being stabbed in an attack in the streets of the country's largest city, a top Kazakh official confirmed on social media. He was 25.

     
    Authorities in Kazakhstan said Friday a man has been detained and confessed to killing the Olympic figure skating medalist Denis Ten. 
  • With Leonard gone, a new look for Popovich and the Spurs

    With Leonard gone, a new look for Popovich and the Spurs

    Thursday, July 19 2018 3:56 AM EDT2018-07-19 07:56:05 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 6:20 PM EDT2018-07-19 22:20:19 GMT
    (William Luther/The San Antonio Express-News via AP). San Antonio Spurs NBA basketball team head coach Gregg Popovich speaks to the media during a press conference in San Antonio, Wednesday, July 18, 2018. The Kawhi Leonard saga in San Antonio is over....(William Luther/The San Antonio Express-News via AP). San Antonio Spurs NBA basketball team head coach Gregg Popovich speaks to the media during a press conference in San Antonio, Wednesday, July 18, 2018. The Kawhi Leonard saga in San Antonio is over....
    The most tumultuous offseason in Gregg Popovich's two decades with the Spurs ended with the trade of star Kawhi Leonard to Toronto. 
    The most tumultuous offseason in Gregg Popovich's two decades with the Spurs ended with the trade of star Kawhi Leonard to Toronto. 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.