Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson enjoyed nine wildly successful years with the San Diego Chargers, and closed out his career with the New York Jets. But despite having the stability of only four starting QBs through his career, there’s one he wished he played all 11 years with.
In a recent interview, Tomlinson revealed that he wishes he could have played his entire career with Drew Brees. He explained that he and Brees had tremendous chemistry together that dated back to them coming from the same 2001 NFL Draft class.
“Because Drew and I came into the league together, we did everything in lockstep,” Tomlinson said. “We worked out together, learned how to be pros and became great friends outside of the facility… On the field, I wish I could’ve played with him for my entire career…”
Tomlinson made sure to state that his feelings were no slight at all to Philip Rivers, who helped him achieve some of the greatest milestones of his career. But ultimately he feels it would have been nice to finish his career with the QB he started it with.
“That’s no slight to Rivers because I have the utmost respect for him, too. How could I not? But it would’ve been special to finish my career out with the guy I started it with.”
LaDainian Tomlinson wishes he played his entire career with Drew Brees. pic.twitter.com/59DzR1MpvE
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) June 25, 2020
Brees was the Chargers starting QB from 2002 through 2005. But when the team traded for Rivers in 2004, it was clear his days with the team were numbered.
After suffering a shoulder injury in 2005, the Saints let him go in free agency, where he would sign with the Saints and win a Super Bowl in 2009.
Tomlinson continued to build his Hall of Fame resume with Rivers handing it off. He set the NFL single-season touchdown record in 2006.
Tomlinson’s NFL career ended on a rather sour note, though. His role with the New York Jets in 2011 was limited, and he retired after the season. He has since been inducted into the Hall of Fame while Rivers and Brees continue to ply their trade.