Running back La Danian Tomlinson of the San Diego Chargers and cornerback Fred Smoot of the Washington Redskins are the NFL Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Month for September, the NFL announced today.
Tomlinson, a first-round draft choice from Texas Christian, started all three games as the Chargers posted the AFC's only perfect September record (3-0). For the month, he scored an NFL-high five touchdowns (all rushing) and had an NFL-high 84 carries for an AFC-best 310 yards. He tied for the league lead with two 100-yard rushing games.
In the Chargers' 28-14 win over Cincinnati on September 30, Tomlinson had 21 carries for 107 yards and three touchdowns. After the teams played to a 7-7 first-half tie, Tomlinson rushed for 88 second-half yards and all three touchdowns on 15 carries (a 5.9-yard average). On the Chargers' final scoring drive, he had four carries for 49 yards and a touchdown, including a season-long 23-yard run.
Tomlinson became the first Chargers running back since October 1, 1994 (Natrone Means) to rush for three scores in a game.
On September 9 against Washington, Tomlinson rushed 36 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns. His 36 carries were the most ever by a player in his first NFL game.
Smoot, who was selected in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft out of Mississippi State, started all three games for the Redskins, had two interceptions, nine tackles and one fumble recovery.
His two interceptions came against Doug Flutie of San Diego on September 9 and Brett Favre of Green Bay on September 23.
Tomlinson selected NFL Rookie of the Month
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