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Tomlinson gives post-practice pep talk to Chargers

    San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, right, and wide receiver Malcom Floyd paused during NFL football training camp Friday in San Diego.

SAN DIEGO » LaDainian Tomlinson dropped by the San Diego Chargers’ training camp to do some reporting for the NFL Network and ended up giving his former team a post-practice pep talk.

The retired star running back got a handoff for old-time’s sake while taping an interview with quarterback Philip Rivers after today’s practice, although at a slower tempo than normal.

Tomlinson says the Chargers need to protect Rivers better because 49 sacks last year "was way too many for your franchise quarterback."

He also thinks rookie linebacker Manti Te’o will have "a really good, long career."

Tomlinson had nine mostly brilliant seasons with the Chargers before playing two with the New York Jets. He was the NFL’s MVP in 2006 and is fifth on the all-time list with 13,684 yards rushing.

Tomlinson signed a ceremonial one-day contract with the Chargers and retired on June 18, 2012.

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