RB LaDainian Tomlinson (Stephen Dunn/Getty)
With so much action going on in Mobile, Ala., it's easy to overlook the news coming out of San Diego. SDBoltReport.com takes a look back at all the Chargers news from this week, including a statement by LaDainian Tomlinson, a decision by Philip Rivers and a shakeup on the coaching staff.
Tomlinson Declares Commitment to the Chargers
LaDainian Tomlinson made a statement on his website on Wednesday, stating his allegiance to the San Diego Chargers. He was drafted by the Chargers in the first round of the 2001 draft and stated he has no intentions of leaving San Diego.
"I feel that I need to make it very clear that I have NO intentions of leaving San Diego," Tomlinson said on ladainiantomlinson.com. "San Diego is where my career started and where I'd like it to end," Tomlinson said. "I have nothing but love and the upmost [sic] respect for this team, the players, and the Spanos Family."
Tomlinson's injury-stricken 2008 season was the least productive of his career, but he still managed to top 1,100 yards rushing and score 12 touchdowns. Tomlinson's increasing age (he'll be 30 by next season) and high salary cap number (upwards of $8 million) have the Chargers considering trading their franchise player, but LT hopes to be back in Blue & Gold next season.
"As for now, I am a Charger and will be until I am told otherwise," he said.
San Diego Hires Four New Assistant Coaches
On Wednesday, the Chargers announced the hiring of assistant secondary coach Cris Dishman and assistant linebackers coach Greg Williams.
Dishmam is a former All-Pro cornerback who spent the 2008 offseason with the Chargers through the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship program. Williams was a graduate assistant with the University of Pittsburgh last season, where he worked under former Norv Turner colleague Dave Wanndstedt. Williams, who played his college ball at the University of North Carolina, went to training camp with the Chicago Bears in 1998, when Ron Rivera was an assistant coach.
The Chargers had already announced two other additions to the coaching staff earlier this week, both of whom also have ties with Rivera.
Don Johnson replaces defensive line coach Wayne Nunnely, who declined an offer from the Chargers in favor of one from the Denver Broncos, according to a report in the San Diego Union Tribune. Johnson has spent the last two years as the Oakland Raiders defensive tackles coach.
Steve Wilks will take the place of secondary coach Bill Bradley, who was released from his contract last week. Wilks spent the last three years with the Bears and places an emphasis on forcing turnovers.
Both Johnson and Wilks worked under Rivera in 2006 when the Bears led the NFL in takeaways and finished fifth in total defense. They went on to win the NFC Title Game and a trip to the Super Bowl before losing to the Indianapolis Colts, 29-17.
Rivers Opts Out of the Pro Bowl
Philip Rivers has chosen not to play in the Pro Bowl, citing a sore knee. Rivers was offered an invite after Brett Favre backed out with a shoulder injury.
Rivers suffered a torn ACL in the 2007 playoffs but played his best season in 2008, pacing the league in passer rating (105.5) and TD passes (34). He is not expected to have surgery and should not miss any of the Chargers' offseason condition program.