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Gates in Chargers camp

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    As expected, Antonio Gates was in camp with the San Diego Chargers on Monday after signing his one-year tender.

    "It feels wonderful," Gates said of being back. "I am happy to be back and look forward to winning some games."

    The soft spoken Gates, known for his honest candor and quiet demeanor off the field, took each question in turn and replied the only way he knows how – admitting at one point that the questions being asked were "good" and perhaps a little tougher than he envisioned.

    As is his persona, he looked each questioner in the eye and never backed down from the tough position he was in.

    In fact, he seemed more well-informed with his choices than other players who have held out of camp for similar reasons.

    With so much knowledge, Gates was in position to make the decisions himself and it was clear that the choice to return at this time was his and not someone swaying the way he thought.

    "I made a decision to be here for my team and my fans," he said. "That was the most important part for me.

    "I honestly think they want me here. Me knowing that and understanding that takes the anger off. I have faith something will get done. I want to be a San Diego Charger and I am sure something will get done."

    While he returned to the team, the bittersweet news on Monday was his suspension was likely set in stone.

    The league issued the following statement on Monday in regards to the Gates suspension:

    "The roster exemption for Antonio Gates of San Diego will extend through the club's first regular season game. The player is not eligible to be added to the club's Active List during that period, but must be counted within the applicable Active List limit on the next business day thereafter (Monday, September 12)."

    Now that Gates is in camp and knows he will definitely miss the opener, he admitted that he wished circumstances were different. At the same time, he wants nothing more than to move forward.

    Ironically he tried to get a flight out on Saturday to make the deadline but could not locate a plane heading to San Diego in time.

    "I thought it could have been done a different way but I want to move forward from that," said Gates. "There is no hard feelings. It is just business."

    The next business on the docket is getting into football shape. Gates has been working out but admitted that it would be impossible to duplicate what goes down in training camp.

    Of course, missing the opener will give him that extra time. Both the Chargers and Gates will still explore any option available to make the Dallas game but based on the statement issued by the league it looks bleak.

    Returning their Pro Bowl tight end into the mix completes the off-season. The goal now is getting ready for the season with Gates.

    Drew Brees talked with reverence about his tight end during the start of camp, saying how vital Antonio Gates is to the success of the team. Right now, it appears he will have his favorite target for 15 games of the regular season and the hope is long into the playoffs.
     

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