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Gates close to breaking Alworth's record

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Blue Bolt, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

    Oct 28, 2009
    Antonio Gates has Lance Alworth's blessing
    By Michael Gehlken 5:25 P.M.OCT. 16, 2014


    Lance Alworth has waited for this.

    His 9,584 receiving yards with the Chargers are most in franchise history. The number has been idle since he joined the Cowboys after the 1970 season. About 45 years later, someone is finally within reach of surpassing it.

    "If anyone was to break the record," Alworth, 74, said in a phone interview Thursday, "he's the one who should do it."

    Tight end Antonio Gates is closing in on a milestone, one he could reach as soon as Sunday against the Chiefs. He is 89 yards from tying — 90 from breaking — Alworth's team receiving record. It would form the latest bullet point on a Hall of Fame resume, completing the trifecta of Gates' mark as the most productive receiver in Chargers history.

    Gates has 743 career catches. Charlie Joiner, a Hall of Famer, ranks second all-time with the team at 586. Gates has 93 touchdowns. Alworth, a Hall of Famer, is second at 81.

    Now, this record.

    It's a big one.

    "I haven't really had much time to think about it," Gates said. "All those things, it's happened so fast. ... I think what happens is when you're working to achieve any kind of goal or accomplishment, you tend not to see it until it's all over. It's kind of like when you're running and breaking a world record, you don't think, 'I need to get there in 3 seconds to break it.' Either you break it or you don't. You just run the race as fast as you can.

    "That's kind of where I see my career. I'm competing as hard as I can, running as fast as I can, and whatever I end up doing when it's all said and done, I'll be able to look back and say, 'Wow. I'm proud because I know I gave it my all.' "

    Gates and Alworth were different players in different eras.

    The two met last October in the locker room.

    Alworth, a Del Mar resident, visited Chargers Park for a press conference. Gates happened to be there after practice, so they spoke at length, discussing the game and posing for photographs.

    "It's been a pleasure to watch you," Alworth told Gates.

    Individual records can be broken. A team championship cannot be.

    Accomplishing the latter has been and remains Gates' focus in his 12th NFL season.

    Records are something that rarely get talked about within the team, maybe aside from when coach Mike McCoy presents game balls. That Gates is closing in on a record older than McCoy hasn't been a major talking point, teammates at his position not even aware of it until approached.

    Certainly, Gates doesn't mention it.

    A record, however monumental, is out of context for the current season. Gates runs his race for a different distinction.

    "A Super Bowl championship in San Diego will be bigger than anything I've accomplished because we've never done it," Gates said. "I want to be a part of that, allowing all the other stuff to play a role into that."

    Alworth was a deep threat, his speed, fluidity and leaping ability befitting his "Bambi" nickname. The 6-foot, 184-pound wide receiver spent 10 years in San Diego, averaging a franchise-record 19.4 yards per reception.

    Gates made a transition from college basketball to the NFL.

    His understanding of leverage and body positioning came with him. While today his top-end speed at age 34 may not be what it once was, he is considered a perfectionist at route running with the short-area ability and quarterback-to-receiver chemistry that still demand attention from defenses.

    In six games, Gates has caught six touchdowns, third most in the league.

    "I think he's a tremendous athlete," Alworth said. "He's done a great job converting over to football. He's probably one of the best ever to play the game, so I'm just tickled to death that he's on our team. My records and all that, it's just a matter of time before somebody was to do it, and I'm just happy he's the guy doing it. He's a tremendous talent and a tremendous person. He's been there a long time, and he deserves it."
    • Winner Winner x 2
  2. Lance19

    Lance19 BoltTalker

    Oct 2, 2011
    I also give my blessing. :tup:

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