"He understands his better years are behind him, but if you put him in the right system and give him a supporting cast with a good line, a physical line and have a commitment to running the ball, this guy is still one of the best in this league," Neal said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000.
After rushing for 12,490 yards and making five Pro Bowls as the face of the Chargers franchise, Tomlinson will likely have to accept a secondary role with another team. That should be fine with Tomlinson, Neal said.
"He's a way better man than he is a football player and that says a lot for the character of this individual," said Neal, a 16-year NFL veteran who sat out the 2009 season after being released by the Oakland Raiders in the preseason. "He's physical, he's durable. I used to call him Superman without the cape. He's still electrifying. You've got to realize the philosophy of the San Diego Chargers changed. Norv Turner is a passing type of guy who took away from the running game. When I was there we were physical, we got downhill. Now the line is all predicated on Philip Rivers. It was a changing of the guard and LaDainian Tomlinson got lost in the shuffle."