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Gates Defends, Praises Rivers

Posted by Ricky Henne on November 14, 2012 – 5:59 PM

Antonio Gates was asked a straight forward question this afternoon about Philip Rivers and his recent struggles turning the ball over. The All-Pro tight end gave an honest and emotional response that is definitely worth repeating.

Here’s what he had to say:

“As a teammate and most importantly as a friend, you encourage friends.  When I speak about Philip, yes he’s my teammate and a guy I’ve played with for nine years, but at the same time he’s a friend of mine.  What friends do is they’re always optimistic about issues.  They don’t worry about the negative stuff; we focus on the positive and how we can eliminate the negative. Our main focus is on what we can do to win a football game.  We all talk about turnovers, and we understand that, but for me, as a guy who’s been around him and played with him like I said for nine years, we focus on the next play that we need to make.  And I think that’s as cut and dry as I can put it.  We don’t worry about what happened in the past. We see different things.  Sometimes it’s not one person.  It’s routes that are run wrong and protection that’s broken down. And we all understand it.  We know what’s happened when we come to this film room and we say, ’Wow, he was trying to make something happen.’ So technically this is who got us in this situation for him to try to get us out. But one thing about playing quarterback in this league is that you definitely take all the heat, and I can tell you this, he’s the first person in here and he’s the last person to leave. There’s not another person on this team or in this league that I would rather play with besides Philip, because I can depend on him and I know I can count on him.”


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60 Responses to “Gates Defends, Praises Rivers”

  1. By nflhof on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    Good guys having a tough season. Both Rivers and Gates need to take this team by the shirt and shake them up to win this Sunday. Now is the time for them to prove they are winners and not just run of the mill.

  2. By Scott on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Chargers! Go out and get them Broncos. I know some self-doubt and frustrations are setting in. You guys are the bomb! You’re talented! Stop doubting yourselves, stop pressing plays and just play with confidence and believe in yourselves. You guys CAN BEAT ANY TEAM. One play at a time and forget the last play, have short term memory and go get a win! Don’t get caught up in things. I would take this team over any other team. Play smart, have fun and kick the mules in the A$$$!

  3. By Scott on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    One more thing, Philip, if you have any doubt and trying to press at all ot just frustrated, forget all those things…they are a devil that will snowball in your head. Just shoulder all the blame for team, give credit for others…like I always heard you do before. Past is past…you still are a great quarterback…go out and play Philip ball like we seen you in the past. Ignore the critics and know must the fans are upset because they do believe in you and are frustrated that’s all.

  4. By Ron Rease on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    Go Bolts, stick together and become better and stronger!!!!! ( But still fire AJ) !!!!!!!

  5. By Johnx on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    okay… i have even blammered on and on about this season and all.. but you know what.. to this point.. no matter how cray crazy the NO game has been moving onward.. YOU STILL CAN CONTROL THIS THING WITH A WIN!!! so do everything boys.. cause its breaking point.. you come up with 3qtr’s in this one.. and YOUR DONE.. along with turners head.. so hey.. LETS GO 4 QTR’s NO LESS!!! please pppppllleeeaasseee I pray this one goes done great

  6. By faninAtlanta on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    I know this year’s been difficult. Much more difficult than expected. It seems since that Jets game to end 2009 or that Chiefs game to begin 2010, this team has somehow slowly gone from expecting to win every game handily to hoping not to lose. I also know there are a lot of reasons that have contributed to this trend. What matters now is not what has happened already, what matters is where this team goes from here. And I still believe it can go higher than it ever has. And it is because of players like Rivers and Gates that I believe that. So know that while we show frustration from time to time, many of us are still pulling for you guys as much as ever. I am and I will continue.

  7. By bryan on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    i think that since we have a good team and that some of the players see that the play calling is in a shambles they may not trust norv to call them i believe if we a a person to call plays and let norv run the team without haveing to call the plays he may be able to show he is better than what we see every week so hire a off cord: to call the plays we would be better and for rivers all he is trying to do is make plays to make norv look good but that is not doing to well,also i think some of the players are not playing hard enough because they maybe don;t trust the mgnt

  8. By Dan W on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    I appreciate optimism and it speaks volumes to a teammates character to be loyal to the Quarter back, that being said, Philip Rivers has generated more turn-overs in the last few years than some quarterbacks generate in an entire career. It’s high time we call a spade a spade. Philip Rivers is making poor decisions as a quarter back when under pressure. Take the sack or throw the ball away. The defense is doing their job. A field goal is points on the board for the Chargers, but a turn-over often is a touchdown for the opposing team. We are consistantly losing to teams which in a side by side statistical analysis have less yards passing and rushing than the Chargers. There is no excuse for such losses, especially when the team dominates the first half of the game. Of course the short comings of this team cannot all be pinned on Phillip Rivers. Norv Turner ought to know better than to continue to attempt elaborate schemes to pass the ball so far down field when it is far more important to manage the clock. If you follow the time the Chargers have possession of the ball verse the time the opposing team has the ball in the games we have lossed, you will see that the Chargers are in a deficit every game. The team as a whole needs to play smarter football if we are ever to expect this team to realize their full potential.

  9. By Drew on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    A good interview! Cummon Bolts prove the league wrong and get to the playoffs.

  10. By Mike Gardiner on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    To the San Diego Chargers: DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT WAIT…..START MAKING YOUR MOVES NOW TO ACQUIRE THIS OUTSTANDING YOUNG QUARTERBACK AND HIS HEAD COACH……NOW! I REPEAT NOW!!!!

    Marcus Mariota, Oregon Football
    (27-of-34, 377 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INT)
    Mariota matches the Oregon record for touchdown passes and sets his own personal-best in yardage as the Ducks extend the longest current winning streak in college football with a 59-17 blowout of Cal on the road.

  11. By bryan on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    ok lets see if norv can make calls that other teams don;t know about because i believe they know what norv is going to call

  12. By charles defay on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    I also appreciate optimism and LOYALTY,,,Gates and Rivers are great people and professionals…the heavy negativity being thrown at the whole organization toward Spanos. AJ, Turner the Players, etc. is really horrible…Your Support, Thoughts and Loyalty as a fan toward the Chargers has immense implications on the outcome of every game.
    Do you send positivity or negativity toward your children in their trials and tribulations? If you are a Loyal and true Charger Fan( I have been for 51 years)…refocus your THOUGHTS…VISUALIZE your team pounding the Broncos(Yes, the Chargers Can) who are a great team and organization also…the Critics give the Chargers NO CHANCE! Perfect set up for an upset….Negative People, you will enjoy the season more if you shift your understandable frustration from NEGATIVITY TO POSITIVITY…1PM Sunday in Denver the BOLTS will thunder to Victory over argueably one of the best NFL teams, so far, this year. Anything is possible, right here right now.

  13. By bryan on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    i have been a charger fan since they came down from la also did u know that the team has a lot of great players and players who can become great, the but of it all i see week after week the same palys over and over when u have a good thing going why go away from it also i have 4 shirts i recived from the chargers yrs ago i wear evey game day they can beat any team in the league,they need to do is make good calls for the team to work

  14. By Rosanne Indermill on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    Antonio Gates, stand up man per usual. Class act and loyal friend/ Team mate. Take notes fellow naysayers.

  15. By michael on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    This is the most important game the Chargers will play in the last 3 years vs Denver @ Denver.Phillip be the All-Pro QB your capable of being,play as a team,each play,each second of the game is your futures.The Playoffs start Sunday @ 4:25pm EST GO BOLTZ

  16. By Bartondad on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    Gates is stand up all right. But when you have to start trotting out the personal accolades and reassurances that the team has confidence in their quarterback it actually means they don’t. “We believe in him” is usually followed swiftly by “we are trading him”. As well they should and fire Norv while you’re at it- we’ve had it, no new stadium for those guys!

  17. By sergio guzman on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    i can agree with antonio gates on this totally. no more words needed for this situation. phillip cares about his turnovers, but that stat is also on the teams stats. every player should take the heat, and admitt how he could have reacted differently and better. thats how a team can forget about the last play, to be able do work together on the next. do this during games and the coaches should implant these type of fixes.

  18. By frank on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    Nice, it’s important to the team that the players are united . Go chargers and beat The broncos.

  19. By Dillon M on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    Ive got faith in my team. Everybody has their share of wins and loses, including SD. They just need to hang on, and they will pull through this losing streak. On the other side of things though, AJ Smith and Norv Turnover DO NEED TO BE FIRED.

  20. By Ralph on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    Whether Good or Bad, Nothing Lasts Forever!

  21. By Sergio Gattorno on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    Lovely story…at the end of the day…Gates: 0 Rings….Rivers: 0 Rings…A.J. Smith: 0 Rings….Norv: 0 Rings…what a bunch of class act losers…

  22. By joe on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    wow you guys are all suckers. do you really think these losers are going to make the playoffs?

  23. By Mike Gardiner on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    Norv got a ring as offensive coordinator on the Dallas Cowboys team

  24. By Bud on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    Rivers is overrated. He doesnt make throws he needs to make. He underthrows people contstantly and that cost them a TD last week that ended up being an interception that would have won the game. That’s a common example of why the Chargers lose along with Norv having incredibly unimaginative play calling and a weak O line that AJ put together. So clear all three of them out. I say start Whitehurst and let’s see what he’s got because this year is done. Maybe Whitehurst can move around a little with the weak line they’ve got.

  25. By James on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    Marcus Mariota?? Really?? WTH is that guy thinking that Marcus Mariota is the answer to our problems. C’mon man!!

  26. By @POSTALBRIAN on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    RUN THE BALL !!!! dont give up on the run,it runs the clock ,it sets up play action pass ,and it keeps the defense honest. JUST TAKE WHAT THE DEFENSE GIVES YOU. Y’ALL had a 13 + minutes T.O.P. advantage if y’all would have ran the ball tampa bay can’t score

  27. By Curtice on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    I dreamt that QB Philip Rivers excelled consistently, Michael Turner was the main running back; Mike Tolbert the bruiser back and Darren Sproles was Mr. Clutch. Tight end Antonio Gates was in perfect health, receiver Vincent Jackson signed a long-term contract, and coach Norv Turner was unceremoniously fired and replaced with defensive genius Ron Rivera.

  28. By juan vasquez on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    sergio g.. your a freakin idiot ,,if your done beening a fan then give me your stuff ,,you punk ,,look were re still in it beat the broncos phil, antonio and were re all good im praying for the whole team tonite ,,we need it god bless my beloved chargers love you guys

  29. By juan vasquez on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    were re the only team thst is being bshed by the media and our own fans ,,but we will come out on top

  30. By Brett Hollingsworth on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    Alright guys, now just go into Denver and hand’em one back!!

  31. By Sandra on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    I love the Chargers. Everytime they play I have the highest of hopes for a win! Each week I feel we got this! I do get a little sad when that doesn’t happen, but I have the same high hopes and love for my Chargers when game day come around again. I’m tired of hearing about those Bronco’s come on guys lets go get em!! Much Love!!!

  32. By Steve on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    Maybe it is time to get either Rivers eyes checked, or check his color blindedness. Or maybe check on his betting status. NO ONE throws to a man 5 yards away from him, directly to him, with no Charger reciever around, then goes out of bounds so as not to get in the defenders way on the way to the end zone! Oh yes, NOT the Chargers end zone.

  33. By kevin on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    did anyonr expect GATES to throw RIVER under the bus, fact is RIVERS was a huge part of the fialed run at the playoffs las season. this year he once again is a huge reason why the chargers will once again fail to make the playoffs. NORV is going to ride the back of RIVERS all the way to the unemployment line and I hope A.J smith is handed his walking papers aswell when the chargers are mathematicaly eliminated from playoff contention. after 9 season in the league RIVER should not me making the rookie mistakes he is making. I said it 4years ago and I say today RIVERS is not a smart QB and will NEVER lead the chargers to a superbowl.everyone thought ladt years performance by RIVERS was a fluke…. the fumbled snap in kansas city by RIVERS cost us a wild card spot in the playoffs. this year is just a rerun of the same disasterous play by a once young QB with unlimited potential who mow seems cluesless about decisions making we had to endure lasrt season.4-6 puts you on the outside looking in at the playoffs.

  34. By Jack Tors on Nov 15, 2012 | Reply

    Blah Blah.. This is all jargon. I am a huge fan of Rivers. I have several of his jerseys and supported him from the beginning. That being said, Rivers had digressed into a mediocre QB that is not able to shake himself of the horrible decisions he is making. It’s not just a bad game here or there, this is now a chronic problem that I don’t see being fixed. He can’t seem to not be able to throw the ball away when there is nobody open. He can’t stop forcing the ball into double coverage etc.

    As much as I love Rivers and want him to succeed I honestly don’t see it happening.

    It’s time to thank Rivers for his good years and draft a new QB that will hopefully take on the face of this franchise in the next few years.

    As far as Gates. I love his loyalty. But even he must be shaking his head in disbelief on what has happened to Rivers. It truly is unbelievable

  35. By Phillip Porchia on Nov 15, 2012 | Reply

    Gates i understand your statement but man look this season is over. i love you Chargers but Norv Turner and A.J Smith will never get you all to the promised Land. not Never. TIME TO Rebuild. You guys have lost confidence in that coach is obvious. I cant wait for next season because i no longer have to see all these Talent wasted by a Mediocre Coach anymore.

  36. By Eric on Nov 15, 2012 | Reply

    We have beat Manning so many times in the past, we got this!

  37. By Phil on Nov 15, 2012 | Reply

    It has come down to if the Boltz do beat Denver, it would be a shocker to everyone in the sports nation. I’m sad to say the status quo will not cut it anymore. Clean house Mr. Spanos and do it now!!!!

  38. By Corinna on Nov 15, 2012 | Reply

    Gooooo Chargers…it wouldn’t be the same without Rivers and Gates. I know you guys can do it!!!

  39. By Ton on Nov 15, 2012 | Reply

    I’ve been a chargers fan for a long time now, i love Phillip Rivers but he’s not what the team needs, we need someone who’s not going to fold under preassure, someone who can lead us for 4 quarters. it’s been a an interesting journey with Rivers but it’s time to move on and get a new QB who wants to play some BOLT UP football!

  40. By Art on Nov 15, 2012 | Reply

    Great response gates. Now its time to act, not just talk. We need the team to step up and be a team.

  41. By Steven Affonso on Nov 15, 2012 | Reply

    It is good that team mates stick together and I would not expect any less from Antonio. Rivers is making some dumb mistakes that have at least cost us 2-3 games this year. but despite that, he is the starting quarterback and we have to support and help build his confidence up.

    for the chargers faithful, THE PLAYOFFS START THIS SUNDAY… that right, we don’t win this game, our slim chances will become non existent. CHARGERS: we need you to play this game and the rest of the season like it is one or done. “Charger spirit can you feel it?”

  42. By dennis graff on Nov 15, 2012 | Reply

    yes always look ahead ,stay focused . I do think sd needs to run battle in denver ,, and the defence cant give manning base looks .. they need to move around overload blitz . gates still can play ,but move him around ,rivers just has to find the mismatch ,, denver did a good job the second half of the game last time , rivers and turner hopefully can move the ball all day and score Tds not feild goals ,,its playoff time and the bolts now they must get it rolling .. gates may have a huge day ,,it will be huge if they win ,,go bolts ,,keepin the faith ……..bigboltfan

  43. By @POSTALBRIAN on Nov 15, 2012 | Reply

    I’ve been a chargers fan since i moved to colorado in 1977 BRING BACK THE YELLOW PANTS !!!

  44. By Mike T on Nov 15, 2012 | Reply

    Look, this is all silly. What did anyone expect Gates to say but, all of us that REALLY focus and watch every play see the disgust in the eyes of most of the players when Rivers makes his predictable 4th qtr picks. Not sure what has happened to him but, Its obviously something he cannot fix. Hes been saying the same thing since last year. Rivers was an elite QB at one time, but those days are long gone. He has single handedly lost 4 of our games this year. Sure, other players could have made plays earlier in the game sometimes but, when it comes down to the final 2 drives in a game, Its usually Rivers who either loses the lead, or the chance to get the lead. I love the Chargers for 33 years now, but its time for a regime change. Including Spanos, Coaching staff, and Capt. of the offense. We need a new QB this draft, or pay Rivers to walk . Unfortunately most of the owners in the league feel the same way and none of them are gonna deal with the front office, or pay for a 9th year QB with an elite paycheck that makes the mistakes of young, bad rookie. Agreed this weeks game in Denver is huge but, what about the next game, and the one after that? This team plays as if it could care less about the coaches, or maybe they are trying to lose because they cant look Norv in the face and tell him. Anyone notice when Rivers gave Norv the “get the F away from me you idiot” wave 2 weeks ago.

    The only way to save Rivers at this point is to bring in the Cowher to coach and GM, and his buddy Marty back as Offensive coordinator. They will hold him accountable for his play. Its obvious nobody on the current staff is……… Too much talent on this team to waste with sub par coaching!

  45. By Mike Carrillo on Nov 15, 2012 | Reply

    Who’s buying this? That’s all nice and media friendly. We all know that Gates isnt the type of player to trash a team mate but here is what he really wants to say..

    “I dont know whats wrong with this nigga but, I want to punch him in the mouth!! The Chargers F’ed me when they cut Brees! I’m sick of being on a team that can’t get it done. We get talent on the team to help a brother out, and we cut em when they ask for the money they deserve. Yet, the Chargers pay Rivers a boat load to throw INT’s all day! Cut this fool and lets get to winning!”

    G’man out! (Gates throws up the peace sign)

  46. By Frank on Nov 15, 2012 | Reply

    I think that most of us fans of the bolts understand and value the players who work hard off the field. If Rivers is the first to practice, and the last to leave, that’s great, and we thank him for all his hard work. At the end of the day however, it comes down to how each player performs on the field. As a person, I’m sure that Rivers makes a good friend, and a good teammate, but he is counter productive for our team, and something needs to change. In regards to the fans, it seems that we are divided between those who have unconditional love for the team regardless of performance or anything for that matter, and those of us who speak up and demand changes, even sometimes in a very disrespectful manner. The thing is that if you look at organizations in all sports, the teams who regularly win and succeed usually have fans that make demands and speak up. We are speaking up because we love this team, and regardless of how nice, or how hard-working a player may be, we need someone who will win. We need a winning Qb, coach, and Manager. We don’t have that right now, and this league is about one thing. Winning!

  47. By Michael on Nov 15, 2012 | Reply

    Funny how the Charger Reporters and media site keep posting comments and or articles about supporting the team and coaches. Only proves just how worried the organization is concerning losing it’s fan base. Spanos needs to realize the loss of city support starts upstairs then goes to the field. AJ started to believe the hype that he was some God finding diamonds in the rough. Rivers was a trade when Eli refused to play for us. AJ let Seau, Harrison, and D Edwards, and Brees go because he thought he could get better for less money. Now look what the team has become. Jackson is still producing, Meachem and Royal are not. Gaither is useless and so is Vasquez. Start cutting from the type.

  48. By terrt a on Nov 15, 2012 | Reply

    poor play choices is norvs fault. poor pass decisions is rivers fault. that being said i still think they have a chance to make the playoffs and if not im still a fan

  49. By greg ross on Nov 16, 2012 | Reply

    get rid of spanos douches and aj smith…

  50. By Loren on Nov 16, 2012 | Reply

    We as fans can understand what Gate’s saying here. However, when a QB is on the run and throws an INT because he’s trying to make a play out of nothing is no one’s fault but his own for making a bad decision. Our team is becoming a team of individuals for personal recognition’s and as a team first and foremost. Oh well… Let’s show the Broncos that we are still the Chargers to fear in AFC West. Go Chargers!!

  51. By Tone on Nov 16, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Phillip, next time you roll right and your just about to go out of bounces…..throw it away please…..We are no longer in the running for the division…we lost that after losing to the hapless browns, giving away the Denver game, and handing the Bucs the win…..But dont worry, most of the Super Bowl Champions havent finished with the best record and alot of them have been Wild card teams….ITS NOT HOW YOU START, ITS HOW YOU FINISH!!!

  52. By Tone on Nov 16, 2012 | Reply

    *BOUNDS

  53. By XRaidersFan on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    Just Win Baby!

  54. By Brandon Butler on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    I bet if the San Diego Chargers had better coaching theyd be doing alot better!!!

  55. By Brandon Butler on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Bolts!!!!!! Even though I live in New York I will always be a San Diego Chargers Fan all day EVERYDAY no matter how good or bad their doing

  56. By John W on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    Chargers need this one. Gates going into the hall of fame and got there because of Philip Rivers. The offense no longer has McNeil or Dielman and no VJ although Alexander at 6’5″ a near replacement. No Gaither and a questionalbe Mathews. Denver adds D J Williams from suspended list. Must have 3+ turnover (at end of game) to have a chance.

  57. By JOSHUABOLTZZZ on Nov 18, 2012 | Reply

    Chargers win or lose! This is a lifestyle choice not a fad. Let’s whoop the Broncos and stand NFL analysts on their heads after this weekend! Lift the Marty Curse!

  58. By phillip f on Nov 18, 2012 | Reply

    gm and all of the coaches need to hit the door bring a coach that knows what he is doing

  59. By Rodney on Nov 21, 2012 | Reply

    a

  60. By Rodney on Nov 21, 2012 | Reply

    Are you kidding me, please stop the nonsense and the pain. Lets be honest, Rivers will not now or ever win the chargers the super bowl. Ryan needs to be traded what a waste of money. Idea, give ronnie brown 25 carries norv. Implement Eddie and Meachem in the game they are great recievers who need the ball. I think being poisitve is nice but rather lets be real this team is going no where. Fire Norv Turner, release Rivers before he gives the other teams any more early christmass presents. Run Ronnie, run Ronnie. Take the loss on Mathews hes a bust please need a durable running back, remember Ronnie Harmon, Marion butts. How is it that Norv Turner is still employed.

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