So the Silver Fox himself called into Jim Rome's radio show this morning to address the article he wrote about the new aura of the Chargers. The article put Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates on record as saying, essentially, the team is better off without LaDainian Tomlinson and his attitude.
- Acee isn't buying Favre's retirement. But he's happy the Favre drama is taking the attention away from the drama of the Chargers. The Chargers should now only be one of the top-3 circuses, behind the Vikings and Redskins.
- Acee says Rivers wasn't alone in being relieved to see LT leave, Philip was merely echoing the team's general consensus.
- While LT was still a Charger, it was the worst-kept secret that he was unhappy here, and his teammates were unhappy with him. Everyone just put on a smile to keep up appearances.
- Many tried to point to LT as the leader of the offense, but Philip has always been a leader, and has been a leader on this team, even when he was just Brees's backup. So Acee doesn't expect anything really to change this year with LT gone as far as leadership is concerned.
- Even if LT wasn't the true leader, he still had a certain "grip" on the team and players. Now that that's gone, they can relax a bit more; it's not so overbearing.
- In the last few seasons, LT became increasingly pouty.
- The feeling in the locker room is that LT and his attitude being gone is a big deal for them, in a good way. The team feels like LT is no longer holding them back and they're more like a family now.
- LT didn't take too kindly to all the changes happening to the team following the 2006 season. With Norv's arrival and Philip emerging as the team leader, LT felt the spotlight was being taken off him, and he didn't like it.
- It was widely reported in 2007 that LT called a team meeting to get the players together and he is credited with helping turn the 2007 team around and bring them together. Though that did happen, he didn't do that very often, and it helps to show he wasn't a true team leader.
- LT appeared to be a different guy last year, all-smiles, happier, saying all the right things; it was all a facade and LT was generally unhappy.
- What made LT great was his confidence in himself and his desire to be the best. But once he started his decline, it's what made it so difficult for him to accept the fact that he physically wasn't as good anymore.
- Rome says LT was always the humble superstar, and asks Acee if that was an act or if LT really was that guy. Acee says LT really was that guy that we saw, the humble superstar, and that he just became frustrated in later years as he started to decline.
- He was the "great guy" in 2004-2006 because it's easy to be happy and excited when you're winning the MVP award and your team is winning. It also made it easier for everyone to overlook LT's faults and attitude.
- Rivers is not a superstar, yet; he will surpass LT. Yes, Philip has a certain arrogance about him, but that's to be expected and it's what makes him good. What makes Rivers better though is he doesn't put himself above anyone else on the team, nor will he ever. The team is coming out saying, "Gee, we like this situation much better now."
Acee left the show and Jim Rome gave a few of his own thoughts:
- Rivers and Gates aren't trying to throw LT under the bus. What they are saying, though, is LT got touchy and pouty about his reduced role and that the team is happy that element is now gone.
- As far as the Chargers are concerned, LT's departure is absolutely "addition by subtraction."
- LT is very prideful, and still feels he can do what he always could do. If he doesn't get the opportunity to do so, he's going to be upset. However, if you can't do it anymore, don't bring the whole team down with you with your bad attitude.