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Chargers Legends

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  • Chargers Legends

    It seems like I've always like the Chargers more than any team in the league, other than by beloved Packers.

    I'm going to periodically document some players from the recent or way back past from the Bolts that I loved.

    Let me know if you like these things otherwise I won't keep doing them. I already know who's next after....

    Today, I begin with RB Lionel "Little Train" James.

    Starring in the mid 80's, this little guy was Brian Westbrook or Devin Hester only not nearly as productive or with the same longevity. He actually only played from 1984-1988 (wow), and for his career, only had 231 carries for 1,062 yards (nice 4.6 per carry). But in 1985, he LED THE AFC with 86 catches -for over 1,000 yards- and was a short-lived superstar to Charger fans.

    In that 1985 season James set the NFL record for all purpose yards (combined yards rushing, receiving, and returning kicks) in the history of the NFL with 2,535 yards. That same season he also set the record for receiving yards by a running back with 1,027 yards

    His greatest game was against the Raiders in an overtime thrilling win.

    November 10, 1985 – SAN DIEGO 40, RAIDERS 34 (OT)
    Lionel James contributed 345 combined yards (168 receiving, 51 rushing, and 126 on kickoff returns) and scored the game-winner on a 17-yard run in overtime. Dan Fouts had his record sixth 400-yard passing game of his career.

    Listed at 5-6, 171 pounds, this little guy was quick as hell, kind of like a Warrick Dunn but didn't last as long. I think that's the best comparison I can make size & style wise. Any other old-schoolers here, can you think of a better comparison as far as size, style, skills? I wonder why James didn't last & produce longer.

    Here's a piece from Sports Illustrated that season. Fun stuff.
    Here's a clip:
    Because James was 5'6", 150 pounds, only one major college—Auburn—recruited him. And Auburn, 120 miles from Putney, was where James would go in 1980. He became a fixture in Pat Dye's wishbone and was tagged "Little Train." When Bo Jackson arrived on the Auburn campus two years later, he was tagged "Big Train." The two were inseparable. Jackson says, "Lionel showed me just how tough a football player could be."
    Unfortunately, it seems Lionel has fallen on harder times lately.

  • #2
    James of course brings back great memories!!!

    Sproles is in the same mold as James, and may also have a shorter career like James...but its already about the same length as far as productive seasons.

    The unsung RB I want to honor is Ronnie Harmon, during his hey day he was the best 3rd down back in the league, as devastating as Kevin Faulk. Teams knew on 3rd down who was getting the ball, and he still moved the sticks!

    Harmon doesn't fall into the legend category probably, certainly not like Muncie or LT...but he was vital to our one super bowl team.


    • #3
      Marion Butts
      Rod Bernstine
      Gary Anderson

      Those are 3 other former RBs who gave the Chargers some good stuff.


      • #4
        Natrone Means baby!



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