New York Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson is a natural born leader, but not in the in-your-face loud and vocal kind of way. LDT has instead largely just led by example throughout his career, and now that he's one of the newest members of the Jets, he's understandably kept the talking to a minimum while he works at proving to his doubters that he still has plenty of good football left in him. Recently however, Tomlinson gave a stirring speech to his teammates that left quite an impression on them. The speech also shed light on how Tomlinson is a student and historian of the game.
Displayed in his house is a framed copy of Vince Lombardi's famous motivational speech, "What it takes to be No. 1." Tomlinson's football doctrine is embodied in those words. He read the speech for maybe the 1,000th time, a refresher before he spoke to the team. "I took notes from it, just some things I wanted to share with the team about what it really takes -- commitment, discipline, everybody buying in, everybody sticking together," Tomlinson said. He blew away the room. Running backs coach Anthony Lynn said, "It was so powerful, the words he said and how he said them." It was an E.F. Hutton moment, and those don't happen too often on a team known for high-decibel levels and four-letter words.
Tomlinson is clearly on a mission this year, and it goes beyond just his individual goals of proving people wrong. Any questions people might have had about how he could potentially disrupt the existing chemistry in the Jets' locker room, well, for the time being, those questions have been answered by the words and actions of the future Hall of Famer.