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Gates recalls fond memory in Houston

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Friday, Oct 26, 2007
    By Casey Pearce, Chargers.com

    The Chargers and Texans don’t have a long, storied history against each other as the Bolts have played the young franchise just twice in the six years it has existed. But ask one Charger about his memory of the Texans and he’ll smile from ear to ear.

    The last time the two teams met was in 2004 when the Chargers opened their season with a 27-20 win in Houston. That day, a relatively unknown Antonio Gates had somewhat of a coming out party as he posted career highs with eight catches for 123 yards. Seven of his eight catches went for first downs, four of which came on third downs to keep drives alive.

    “That was the start of me getting a little attention,” Gates said. “It was my best game of my career. That was the point where I was looked at as the guy in the passing game. It’s definitely a good memory I have.”

    Gates built on that performance against the Texans as went on to have one of the best seasons by a tight end in NFL history. He earned his first Pro Bowl berth after catching 81 passes for 964 yards and 13 touchdowns, most ever by a tight end in a single season. He’s become recognized as an elite player, and he believes opponents took notice of his performance against the Texans.

    “That’s about the last time that I really saw much one-on-one coverage,” Gates said.

    Despite garnering extra attention, Gates is still getting the job done. He leads all Chargers receivers and all NFL tight ends in receptions (43) and receiving yards (547).

    While his first career meeting with Houston may have provided his coming out party, his second game against them could bring a small milestone. Gates enters the game with 3,925 career receiving yards in 67 games. With 75 yards this week, he’ll become the third-fastest tight end in NFL history to reach 4,000 career yards. The only two players that have reached the mark in fewer games are Hall of Famers Kellen Winslow (58 games) and Mike Ditka (67).

    “I don’t pay any attention to that stuff, but it would be an honor to be in a class with those names,” Gates said. “They paved the way. They set the standard. I’m just following behind them. It would be great to reach that, but most importantly I just want to help my team find a way to beat Houston.”

    Better day

    Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner admitted that his team wasn’t quite as sharp as he would have liked them to be on Wednesday, but the Bolts responded with a solid practice Thursday afternoon at the Arizona Cardinals’ practice facility.

    “I think as this season has gone on we’ve practiced better and better each week,” Turner said. “Yesterday was hard. There were some good things in it (Wednesday) but it wasn’t as good as we’ve been practicing. Today was one of the best practices we’ve had.”

    Because of their bye last week and the long weekend that accompanied it, Wednesday’s practice was the first time the team had been on the field in six days. Following his team’s first practice of the week, Turner challenged his men to step up and they responded.

    “I thought our guys had great energy,” Turner said. “I thought they did a really good job of focusing in on Houston and focusing in on the things we have to do.”

    Injury update

    Cornerback Drayton Florence was back on the field Thursday for the entire practice after missing a portion of Wednesday’s drills with a minor knee injury. Defensive tackle Jamal Williams (knees), center Nick Hardwick (foot) and wide receiver Buster Davis (ankle) missed the entire practice.

    Texans kicker Kris Brown, guard Kasey Studdard and linebacker Shawn Barber did not work Thursday. Six others including starters Matt Schaub, Ahman Green, DeMeco Ryans and Andre Johnson were limited.

    Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak said it’s a “reach” to suggest that Johnson would return this week. Johnson led the NFL in receptions last season but has not played since injuring his knee in Week 2.

    Surprise guest

    Turner’s high school coach Charlie Tourville made a surprise visit to Chargers practice Thursday. Tourville, who tutored a young Turner at Alhambra High School in Martinez, California, is retired and lives in the Phoenix area.

    Chambers ready

    Newly acquired wide receiver Chris Chambers will make his Chargers debut against the Texans. Turner is confident in his new pass catcher’s knowledge of the offense, but Chambers’ biggest issue at this point is getting in sync with quarterback Philip Rivers.

    “Chris is ready to go,” Turner said. “The hardest thing isn’t Chris knowing what to do and being in the right place and doing all of those things. It’s the chemistry a quarterback and a receiver have and then those little things. The only thing that can (allow you) to get that caught up is time. Unfortunately, we’re going to be off a little bit but I believe Chris is going to give us some big plays, too.”

    The game will mark Chambers’ second contest in three weeks against the Texans. He caught two passes for the Miami Dolphins on October 7 in Houston.
  2. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Aug 3, 2006
    I'm betting that Chamers' impact will be immediate and substantial. If they're smart they've put their heads together and practised those patterns he runs best, then they can backfill the rest of the playbook thru the rest of the season.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. AnteaterRaider

    AnteaterRaider Carpe Diem et omni Mundio Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Jan 19, 2006
    Let;s hope gates has the same success he did against the texans last time
  4. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I was at that game, and Gates was friggin' awesome.

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

    Jul 11, 2006
    Gates may have missed a block here and there, he may have dropped a pass:icon_eek: but he's as close to perfect that I have seen.

    Isn't it wonderful to watch poetry in motion?, I know I'll never forget his play. :bolt::tup::icon_toast:

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