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Tomlinson: ďIím just happy to be hereĒ
by David Neville,

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.

"Iím just happy to be here," said Tomlinson. "It feels great to back on the field. I canít even explain the feeling I have right now. Iíve been waiting for this moment all my life. Now that Iím finally here, Iím ready to go full out and win some games.

"My job is just to help this team win. Whenever I get the opportunity thatís what I will do. Whenever I can, Iím going to do whatever I can to help the squad win. Thatís the way itís 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. Iím just really happy about being here right now."

Now that heís at camp, Tomlinson is focusing on getting ready for the Chargersí regular-season home opener against Washington on Sept. 9.

"I think Iím 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.

"Itís 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 couldnít have planned it better."

How has he been spending his time during the negotiations?

"Working out," said Tomlinson. "Weíve got some facilities over where I stay, so Iíve been running and lifting weights and watching the games. Iíve 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 wouldnít get done. Itís the business aspect to it. Thatís 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."

Tomlinsonís 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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