Tomlinson, who already was a two-time Pro Bowler with the Chargers by the time Sproles was drafted in the fourth round in 2005, knew immediately his team had picked up a special player regardless of height and weight.
“I watched Darren at Kansas State,” Tomlinson said, speaking to SN on behalf of the Peanut Bowl, a Texas high school football rivalry game he hosted last weekend. “Even though he was small in stature, when you look at his body type, he’s actually a really well put together guy, legs and built up top. When he first walked into the complex, I said, ‘Man this guy is put together pretty good.’
“And then you saw the skills he had on the field, how quick he was, how smart he was, catching the football and running routes, knowing defenses and stuff … I knew he had an opportunity to play a long time.”
It’s impressive that Snead has managed to upgrade the talent surrounding his young quarterback without the benefit of high draft picks. At wide receiver, he traded for a former high first-rounder in Sammy Watkins and added Robert Woods in free agency. Then he drafted a fine possession receiver in third-rounder Cooper Kupp. The trio has combined for 40 receptions this season.
Equally important were Snead’s free-agency additions that have solidified the offensive line. He brought in two seasoned vets in left tackle Andrew Whitworth and center John Sullivan.
Owners, many of whom had supported Trump and seven of whom had donated at least $1 million to him, felt that Lockhart had unnecessarily politicized the league’s response. One owner barked angrily at Lockhart, who declined to comment about the matter, echoing a sentiment that most of them — especially Jones — shared: Nobody wanted to engage in a political mud fight with the White House, even if “they were all pissed at the president,” a league source said.