L.T. might be more than just A.D.'s backup

LaDainian Tomlinson (Gregory Shamus/Getty)

Vikings coach Brad Childress said Friday that Adrian Peterson and LaDainian Tomlinson would be 1 and 1A if Tomlinson signed with the Vikings.

LaDainian Tomlinson told reporters Wednesday night that he wouldn't have a problem accepting his role behind Adrian Peterson in Minnesota.

On Friday, speaking on KFAN radio, Vikings coach Brad Childress described Peterson and Tomlinson as 1 and 1A if Tomlinson elects to sign with the Vikings. The former San Diego Chargers running back is meeting with the New York Jets today and, according to a story on ESPN.com, he would also be the backup in New York to Shonn Greene if he signed there.

"I really look at it as a guy that if we were fortunate enough to get him you would have a 1 and 1A. He understands that dynamic," Childress said on KFAN when asked if Tomlinson would be a good fit in Minnesota. "I actually put him on the phone yesterday with Adrian. They were able to talk for a little bit down in (running back coach Eric) Bieniemy's meeting room. I think there's a tremendous admiration of one toward another. But he can do all the things that he needs to do in this offense. He reminds you of a guy like a Brian Westbrook, who was probably one of the premier guys in terms of moving him around the formation as the widest guy, in the slot, lined up next to the tackle, as a single back, motioned out of the backfield. And then carrying it out of that I (-formation) too. That's where he's made most of his money."

On Thursday, before Tomlinson's visit to Winter Park started in earnest, Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman said Tomlinson could opt to visit other teams to gauge their interest.

Childress said Friday he doesn't necessarily view Tomlinson's visit to the Jets as a bad sign.

"I think that a lot of times when you only have one person involved the agents don't like that game and a lot of time they take them and … create the atmosphere that there's want somewhere else – and there may be, in fact, want somewhere else – but something to drive the deal," Childress said. "He gave those people (the Jets) his word and he is a man of his word and it wasn't like I was going to throw myself down in front of the door. He was kind of fact finding. He's going to go back home and speak to his wife in San Diego and we'll figure it out from there."

Tomlinson told Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated that he could make a decision this weekend. He might have a better chance to earn more carries with the Jets because Shonn Greene isn't established as a starter yet (the Jets released their starter, Thomas Jones, last week), but Childress believes Tomlinson has something left to contribute after nine years in the NFL.

"While nobody looks like they did eight years ago … he certainly has plenty of skills to be able to play this game at a high level," Childress said.

Childress also said the potential return of Brett Favre to the Vikings might not have as much impact on Tomlinson's decision as people think.

"He's got some things left and one of the things that's absent is an opportunity to win that ring and get it on his finger," Childress said of Tomlinson. "He's been close and I'm sure that he's looking for teams that he feels like have a chance to get close again."


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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