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Tomlinson: “I’m just happy to be here”
by David Neville, Chargers.com

Photo: Joel Price
08.22.01 - Running back LaDainian Tomlinson was clearly excited about joining his teammates at Chargers training camp at UCSD in La Jolla on Wednesday.

"I’m just happy to be here," said Tomlinson. "It feels great to back on the field. I can’t even explain the feeling I have right now. I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life. Now that I’m finally here, I’m ready to go full out and win some games.

"My job is just to help this team win. Whenever I get the opportunity that’s what I will do. Whenever I can, I’m going to do whatever I can to help the squad win. That’s the way it’s supposed to be."

How many of his teammates has he seen since arriving at camp?

"All of them. I got a lot of handshakes and hugs. It just felt good to be back here with the fellas. I’m just really happy about being here right now."

Now that he’s at camp, Tomlinson is focusing on getting ready for the Chargers’ regular-season home opener against Washington on Sept. 9.

"I think I’m in good shape. Today, I will kind of find out where I am as far as football-shape. This still gives me enough time to get ready for opening day.

"It’s unique how it just kind of happened. I was in Kansas City (yesterday), I flew back, and I had a message on my answering machine. (Agent) Tom (Condon) called, it was just perfect. I couldn’t have planned it better."

How has he been spending his time during the negotiations?

"Working out," said Tomlinson. "We’ve got some facilities over where I stay, so I’ve been running and lifting weights and watching the games. I’ve just been thinking about the future and focusing on playing ball because I knew this time would come."

Tomlinson never doubted that everything would eventually fall into place.

"I knew that a point was going to come that we were going to agree to something. The point never crossed my mind that this wouldn’t get done. It’s the business aspect to it. That’s all it is.

"I was just staying positive. I knew that they were working as hard as they could to get it done as fast as they could. I just left it up to Tom. I knew that they were talking a lot, so I stayed positive about it.

"I had my family behind me and they were keeping me positive. In talking to guys that have been through this before, this is just something that happens. Just part of the business."

Tomlinson’s first full practice with the Chargers will be on Wednesday from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at UCSD in La Jolla. The practice is free and open to the public.


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