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Philip Rivers, Chargers GM Return Fire At Jets’ Tomlinson

LaDainian Tomlinson (credit: Al Bello/Getty Images), Philip Rivers (credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

LaDainian Tomlinson (credit: Al Bello/Getty Images), Philip Rivers (credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – LaDainian Tomlinson thinks San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers “seems distracted,” and was stunned Monday night when his former teammate fumbled a snap near the end of regulation of an overtime loss to Kansas City.

Tomlinson, in his second season with the Jets, wouldn’t speculate Thursday when asked if Rivers is struggling because he’s not healthy. He said it could be the result of the pressure of being a leader.

“When you’re in your prime, everything slows down,” said Tomlinson. “When you’re in your prime, you really see the field well. You’re in control out there. I don’t know what Philip may be going through right now.

“But I will say, to me, he seems distracted for some reason. It just seems like he’s distracted. And I’ve always said this: `It’s hard to be The Guy on the team.’ When they say this is your team. It’s hard to be that guy now. Because you get all the questions of what’s wrong and what’s right. Then, you get your teammates that expect certain things from you. When that doesn’t happen, you get strange looks in the locker room. So it’s hard to be that guy when it’s your team. So that may have a little bit to do with what’s going on.”

Rivers, who has thrown an NFL-high 11 interceptions, dropped the snap against the Chiefs that cost the Chargers in a 23-20 loss. Tomlinson couldn’t “believe that just happened,” and had never seen Rivers do that.

“Based on what you told me, he has to be speaking from experience,” Rivers responded, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Chargers general manager A.J. Smith also fired back at the Jets’ veteran running back.

“I agree with what LT said about it’s hard being the guy,” he said. “But I think it’s a lot harder when it’s no longer your team, and you’re not the guy.”

Whose side are you on? Be heard in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)