Lorenzo Neal - Fullback - 2003
One of the biggest impacts on the football field 20 years ago was the fullback position. Fullbacks like Mike Alstott gave teams a reason to get a talented fullback because it can take the workload off of the running back, and also create a big versatile blocker for that running back. This is exactly what Lorenzo Neal was for LaDainian Tomlinson.
Lorenzo Neal signed with the Chargers in 2003 and played with them for five years. In those five years, Neal accumulated three pro bowl honors, as well as first-team All-Pro twice and second-team All-Pro once. Looking at his stats by game, it may be hard to recognize the impact he made.
For eleven years in the NFL, Lorenzo Neal blocked for running backs who got 1,000 or more yards. Only five of these seasons being with Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson shows how impressive this feature is. The year he left the Chargers, he paved the way for Le'Ron McClain to rush for 902 yards, and McClain is a player who averaged less than 100 yards a season in his other six seasons in the league.
Seeing six straight years of blocking for thousand-yard rushers prior to joining the Chargers, this was a very intelligent signing. LaDainian Tomlinson being in his prime and having Neal power through defenders is what gave the Chargers so much success after the 2003 season.
These five players have been some of the biggest signings that the Chargers have had in their history. Fans around should be excited about what J.C Jackson will do with the Chargers and how he will rank with the others in Chargers history once his time with Los Angeles comes to an end.