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Talk About Smart - Gates Requests Less Playing Time!

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Pointyearedog, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. Pointyearedog

    Pointyearedog I only put idiots on ignore...

    Aug 19, 2008
    Antonio Gates has an unusual playing-time request for Chargers
    By Frank Schwab9 hours agoShutdown Corner


    View photo
    SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 20: Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers rushes away from Dontae Johnson #36 of the San Francisco 49ers in the second quarter at Levi's Stadium on December 20, 2014 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

    When it's mid-April and an NFL player is talking about how he'd like a change in his playing time, we all know where that's headed.

    Not in Antonio Gates' case, however. The San Diego Chargers tight end talked to The MMQB about hoping the team makes changes his playing time, and his gripe wasn't that he needed more run. He wants to play in fewer snaps and is asking for less playing time, if you can believe that. That's rare.

    "With injuries and whatnot, I played a little bit more than they expected me to play last season,” Gates told The MMQB. “I was playing the whole game. How I feel next year, it depends on how much volume they have me doing. I’d like to come in on third-and-7s, red zones, those situations. That’s what my contribution is at anyway.”

    That's not to say he's wrong. It's smart.

    Gates' old age has crept up on us. He'll be 35 in June. That's not old, obviously, but it is for a high-level NFL tight end. Gates has been so good for so long (821 yards and 12 touchdowns last season) that it's hard to realize that he's at an age in which he desires a lesser role. The Chargers also have promising young tight end Ladarius Green, which makes Gates' request more prudent.

    The MMQB story is interesting, talking about how Gates promotes young boxers in Detroit. It's clear that he's very self aware of his football mortality. He's in the last year of his contract with the Chargers, and in the story he said about retirement, it "could be one year for me, it could be four years."

    Will we really see fewer snaps from Gates this season? It's fine to say things like that now, but it will be hard for the Chargers coaches to cut his playing time back after the vintage season he had last year. Either way, the end of a great career is getting close. He just passed 10,000 career yards at the end of last season and is one touchdown away from 100 in his career. He's one of the best tight ends ever, but nobody plays forever.

    Gates seems to understand that concept well.

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