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Kansas City brings out best in Gates

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Thursday, Sep 27, 2007
    By Casey Pearce, Chargers.com

    Although the numbers may beg to differ, Chargers tight end Antonio Gates believes that sharing the field with fellow Pro Bowler Tony Gonzalez doesn’t cross his mind when the Bolts and Chiefs meet every year.
    “I don’t think about it,” Gates said. “I don’t try to go out and outplay him. We’ve both had some good numbers against each other, but that’s just two guys playing hard and trying to win. I don’t think there’s much more to it.”

    Statistics say that seeing red – specifically Kansas City – brings out the best in Gates, who has been named to three consecutive Pro Bowls. In six career games against the Chiefs, Gates has caught 34 passes for 408 yards and three touchdowns. Perhaps his best game came against Kansas City when he caught 10 passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns in a win at Qualcomm Stadium.

    Gonzalez hasn’t been too shabby against the Chargers either. The eight-time Pro Bowler caught six passes for 138 yards last October in Kansas City as the Chiefs dealt the Bolts one of just two regular-season losses on the year. In his last six meetings against the Chargers, Gonzalez has averaged almost seven catches per game, including a career-high 14 receptions in the 2004 season finale.

    “He’s always ready to play,” Gates said. “We’ve got the same mindset every week: we’re going to do whatever we can to help our team win.”

    Because of Gates’ basketball background, he says he didn’t have any players that he particularly modeled himself after when he came into the NFL, and he believes his game is much different from that of Gonzalez. However, he’s come to hold Gonzalez in very high regard.

    “The first time I went to the Pro Bowl, I was named the starter but I asked Tony if he wanted to start just because I respected him so much,” Gates said. “I know how hard it is to play at a high level every year. I know how hard it is to be consistent every year and go to the Pro Bowl every year. It’s a tough business. I’ve only been here for four years. He’s been to twice as many Pro Bowls.”

    Regardless of who he’s playing against, a big afternoon from Gates Sunday would come as no surprise. Through three games this season, Gates ranks second in the NFL with 27. He’s been on the receiving end of nearly 40 percent of Philip Rivers’ completions.

    Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner praised Gates for his high level of play and said he believes Gates’ production will soon open up more opportunities for other receivers in the passing game.

    “He’s playing at an awfully high level,” Turner said. “I don’t think you’d ever expect anyone to have that many catches, and there’s going to come a time when people are going to say, ‘Hey, let’s make them throw the ball somewhere else.’ I hope it doesn’t.”

    When told of his numbers this season, Gates shrugged his shoulders and said he didn’t know exactly how many receptions he had.

    “I don’t keep up with those things,” Gates said. “I just play.”

    Having never been a numbers guy, Gates said he simply hopes to continue to play at a high level to help his team get back to winning games on a weekly basis.

    “Consistency is the biggest thing for me, as an individual and as a team player,” Gates said. “It’s a long season. I’ll do whatever I need to in order for this team to have the best chance of winning. If I need to catch 10 balls a game, I’ll do it. If I need to help more in the run game and help LT, I’m all for it. I just want to make sure I’m doing all that I can do. That’s all I can control.”

    Castillo returns

    Defensive end Luis Castillo (foot) participated fully in Thursday’s practice after sitting out Wednesday. Turner said he that early in the week he was concerned about the possibility of Castillo missing Sunday’s game but the head coach felt much better after watching his starting left end practice.

    Linebacker Matt Wilhelm (calf) did not work Thursday and will likely miss his second-consecutive start. If that’s the case, Turner said that Carlos Polk will again start at one of the two inside linebacker spots although Tim Dobbins would see plenty of playing time as well.

    Cornerback Quentin Jammer was back on the field after missing Wednesday’s practice with a migraine, and guards Mike Goff and Kris Dielman were removed from the injury report after working all of practice for the second-consecutive day.

    Notable

    - The Chargers have recorded at least two sacks in 16 of their last 17 games. The last time they faced the Chiefs, they recorded six sacks en route to a 20-9 win.

    - Rivers is a perfect 9-0 at Qualcomm Stadium as a starter.

    - Through three games, the Chargers have picked up more first downs this season (58) than their opponents (56).

    - Kansas City’s defense has given up just three touchdowns in their first three games. Houston scored on a fumble return in Week 1, and the Chiefs’ special teams units were victimized by a Devin Hester punt return in Week 2 at Chicago.
     
  2. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    Gates is going to have a GREAT game.
     
  3. Charger Dave

    Charger Dave Dead account

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    Gates and Gonzo always have good showings at the Q up to this point. Things could be different this time if they let Weddle play against Gonzales. ;)
     
  4. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I heard someone mention that it would be good to see Weddle cover Gonzo all game. Sounds like a good idea to me. :yes:
     
  5. Charger Dave

    Charger Dave Dead account

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    I can't think of a better time to find out if he (Weddle) can do it than with Wilhelm down. Carlos Polk sure as heck won't have any luck trying. Need that heavy nickle or dime this Sunday on 3rd down.
     
  6. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    No kidding.

    Merrimonster and Phillips need to get after the QB too ....
     
  7. Charger Dave

    Charger Dave Dead account

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    Personally, I think having Polk slip into ILB is a good idea. He might free up Coop to do some stuff Sunday too, but you are right - looking for Shawne & Shaune to have one of their typical outstanding Sundays in this one.
     
  8. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    KC sucks. This better be a beat down on the Squaws. :bolt:
     
  9. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    Crap. Do you realize that the Chiefs starting tackles are twice rejected journeyman Damion McIntosh and a washed up Kyle Turley?

    We better get five or more sacks on those two scrubs.
     
  10. Charger Dave

    Charger Dave Dead account

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    Ayup - they still have a pretty good center and guards - but it sure isn't the O-Line it once was. Don't think Green could have done much better behind this group.

    Edited: Here is the link to their current Depth Chart - like I said - still pretty solid at center and guard but big Jamal has handled two and in some cases all three of them before. We'll just have to see how Damion and Kyle stack up against Shawne & Shaune. ;)
     
  11. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Blitz, blitz, blitz, then blitz some more!!!!! Cottrell, you better grow some nuts for this game. I want to see someone in Huard's face every play.

    This is the week to start righting this ship. :yes:
     
  12. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Getting the kind of win we had over the Bears could not be considered a truly successful game. Sure, a win is a win, especially in the division, but if they don't stomp their puds in the dirt Sunday I will not be a happy camper.
     

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