Just a quick programming note for you Bolts fans out there.
Tonight’s episode of NBC’s The Biggest Loser will feature Chargers tight end Antonio Gates. It airs at 8:00 pm, so be sure to tune in.
Here are a couple of photos from tonight’s show to whet your appetite.
Tags: Antonio Gates
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In today’s 27-17 victory over the New York Jets the Chargers history books gained some new marks. In turn a lot of game balls were distributed after the game. Coach Turner passed out a game ball to each player – Kendal Reyes, Corey Liuget, Jarret Johnson, Antonio Garay, Donald Butler, Shaun Phillips, Larry English, Brandon Taylor, Melvin Ingram – who amassed one or more of the 11 total sacks by the Chargers defense, marking a new single game record. The old single game record was 9 sacks in 2010.
The other game ball goes without saying as Antonio Gates scored the 82nd touchdown of his career, surpassing Chargers great Lance Alworth to make him the Chargers all time touchdown reception leader.
Tags: Antonio Gates, New York Jets, sacks, san diego chargers defense
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The following was submitted by Chargers tight end Antonio Gates.
This has been a special week for me, and not just because I tied the franchise record for touchdown catches.
Monday was my “Shop with a Charger” event. My teammates and I went shopping with underprivileged kids at the Walmart by the facility. My feeling is that there is the game of football, and then there is the game of life. These kids see us as heroes, as people who have accomplished things, and what I try to do is have them forget about the negative things in their life and focus on the positive. I want to give them encouragement and hope to always dream big. I want them to look back on their lives years from now and remember they had someone in their corner rooting for them and who was willing to help them out. I wouldn’t be in the same position I am today if it wasn’t for having people like that in my past. So this event is very special to me.
Now on the field, while the last game hurt to lose like we did against the Panthers, it was very emotional for me to tie the franchise record for most touchdown catches with Lance Alworth. It was phenomenal. I got very emotional because I’d been working so hard the last three or four weeks to get that touchdown and tie the record. And with everything we’ve been going through, getting this record came at a time when I really needed something positive. You go through so much, and when things are going badly, you want to cling to some positive reinforcement that you’re doing the right things. Now this milestone is something I will always look back on and think wow, I’ve had a lot of teammates and coaches who have trusted in me and given me the opportunity to accomplish the things I have.
I hope to have a lot of years left in my career, but when I look back at my playing days years from now, I’m going to remember the good times and the bad times. One thing about humans is you remember all the positive moments and years of your life, but you also remember the negative ones too. Now at the end of the day, I will look back at this time period and know that we prepared the best we could and gave it our best. We’ve taken all the necessary steps to be as good as we possibly can be, and that’s all you can ask for. There is such a small percentage of people who actually make it this far to be a professional. It’s hard to get to this level. So even though things aren’t going as planned and I have a bitter taste in my mouth, I still recognize that. And we can’t forget it either, because in order to grow we have to learn from being in this position.
Finally, I want to leave you by thanking you for supporting our team. We lay it on the line every single week not just for ourselves, but for you, the fans, as well. We still want to win football games, and sometimes the perception is that guys don’t care, and want to point out losing badly to Carolina as a sign that guys don’t care. But that’s not the case. Things just didn’t go our way. But we’re still trying as hard as we possibly can. We’re still fighting, and hopefully you guys keep supporting us because we need you at this crucial time. We need you behind us.
Tags: Antonio Gates
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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.”
Tags: Antonio Gates, Philip Rivers
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The Chargers have a chance to climb over the .500 mark this Sunday in Cleveland. Here are some key notes to get you ready for the game at the Browns.
• San Diego leads the series with the Browns, 14-7-1. The Chargers have won four straight matchups, seven of the last eight and nine of the last 11. That includes three straight wins in Cleveland. The team’s last loss in Cleveland came in 2001.
• The Chargers lead the NFL in run defense, allowing just 71.2 yards per game. Four opponents were held under 60 yards: Oakland (45), Tennessee (38), New Orleans (53) and Denver (57).
• Philip Rivers is 2-0 versus the Browns and has a 118 quarterback rating in the two games (37-53-584, 2 TDs, 0 ints).
• Rivers has an overall record of 40-8 in games in which he has a passer rating of 100.0 or higher. He is the Chargers’ all-time leader in completion percentage (63.7%) and his percentage in 2012 is 66.5%.
• Rivers has started 102 consecutive games. Eli Manning is the only quarterback with more consecutive starts (126).
• Antonio Gates (8,007 yards receiving) moved into fourth on NFL’s all-time list for yards receiving among tight ends. He is 178 yards behind Dallas’ Jason Witten. In Week 3, he became only the fifth tight end in NFL history with 600 career catches.
• Gates has 78 touchdown catches, three behind the Chargers’ all-time leader, Lance Alworth, who has 81.
• The tandem of Rivers-Gates has connected on 51 touchdown passes, most by a QB-TE tandem in NFL history.
• Eric Weddle’s nine interceptions over the past 22 games (since 2011) leads the NFL.
• Shaun Phillips has 64.5 career sacks, fourth in team history. Phillips needs one sack to tie Lee Williams (65.5) for third, and he needs 2.5 to tie Gary “Big Hands” Johnson (67) for second. Phillips leads the team with 4.5 sacks, 11 pressures and six quarterback hits. He will make his 99th start on Sunday.
• Mike Scifres’ has 516 career punts, including 206 inside the 20-yard line. Of all of the players with 500 career punts, Scifres has the highest percentage of punts landed inside the 20 (39.9%) in NFL history. He needs just three punts to tied Dennis Partee for second-most punts in team history (519).
• Quentin Jammer has a chance to make an interception in a third-consecutive game for the first time in his career on Sunday.
• Norv Turner has 114 career wins, tying Don Coryell on the NFL’s all-time wins list. Turner has the best winning percentage in team history (52-34, .605 in regular season and 55-37, .598 overall).
• With a win in Week 2, A.J. Smith became the winningest general manager in franchise history. The team now has 94 wins in 2003-12 under Smith. The team won 92 games under Hall of Fame GM/coach Sid Gilman.
• Twenty-one of the 53 active players are new to the active roster this year: 11 of 25 offensive players and 10 of 25 defensive players.
• The Chargers play the sixth toughest schedule in 2012, based on their opponents’ .520 winning percentage in 2011.
• The Chargers will travel the third-most regular-season air miles of any team in the NFL (25,766). Only Oakland (28,692) and Seattle (26,200) will fly more air miles than the Bolts in 2012.
Tags: A.J. Smith, Antonio Gates, Cleveland Browns, Eric Weddle, Mike Scifres, Norv Turner, Philip Rivers, Quentin Jammer, Shaun Phillips
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After sitting out the last two practices to rest a bruised rib, Antonio Gates returned to the field today in preparation for Sunday’s home opener.
Gates is just three catches short of 600 for his career.
We’ll have complete coverage on Gates’ return to practice on chargers.com after today’s session ends.
Tags: Antonio Gates
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I’m not sure why — media never turn down free food — but there were leftovers from Norv Turner’s informal chat at Qualcomm Stadium. The chicken sliders and taquitos were my favorites.
There are also a few tidbits that I haven’t covered on the blog or the main site.
• Jan. 17 is a painful date for Chargers fans, but it’s not unspeakable. Turner has been straightforward in his assessment of the playoff loss to the Jets and talked about it again Thursday, acknowledging that media and fans will measure his team by what they accomplish in postseason play.
“I think everyone knows our team’s going to be evaluated once we get to the playoffs. Our guys understand that and that gives us a little chip on our shoulder,” Turner said.
He made a light-hearted joke about it but did say it isn’t fun to dwell on the loss: “That’s why I’m anxious about the season starting because we’ll have some other games to talk about.”
Tags: Antoine Cason, Antonio Gates, Cam Thomas, Norv Turner, Playoffs, Randy McMichael
Posted in Miscellaneous, Notes | 2 Comments »
Chargers TE Antonio Gates returned to Detroit last week to host a football camp with Sound Body, Sound Mind.
More than 400 young people attended at Wayne State University on June 17-18.
Gates, who attended high school at Detroit Central, has a soft spot for kids whose lives are not burgeoning with opportunity.
“No matter what circumstance that they’re in, you can always get out,” he told Fox 2 in Detroit. “Obviously, your physical ability is just one part of it, but the mental stage is where you have to make the progression.”
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez and Michigan State coach Mike Dantonio also attended.
The organization encourages high school student-athletes to develop life skills and academics, not just sports. The players stayed overnight at the campus and got two full days of on-field instruction as well as discussions about life.
Stay true and keep pounding,
Tags: Antonio Gates, Detroit, Football Camp, Mike Dantonio, Rich Rodriguez
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Chargers: Philip Rivers set a franchise single-season record with 34 touchdowns in 2008, but still aims to improve. The six-year veteran has led the Chargers to three AFC West titles in his three seasons as the starter and aims for a fourth in 2009. Rivers totaled a career-high 4,009 passing yards last season and can become the first Chargers QB to record 4,000-plus yards in back-to-back seasons since Dan Fouts (4,715 in 1980; 4,802 in 1981).
Chargers have won 3 consecutive AFC West titles…Team aims for 4th straight win on MNF…Club aims for 12th consecutive win vs. Oak…For career, QB Philip Rivers has 6-0 record vs. Oak. & has completed 73 of 133 passes (54.9 pct.) for 926 yards with 7 TDs vs. 4 INTs & 81.8 rating. Rivers led NFL with 105.5 rating & tied Drew Brees with league-high 34 TD passes in ’08…For career, RB LaDainian Tomlinson averages 119.1 rush yards per game vs. Oak. (1,906 total in 16 games) & has 9 100-yard games vs. Raiders…Since ’02, TE Antonio Gates leads NFL TEs with 51 TD rec…WR Vincent Jackson led team with career-high 1,098 rec. yards last season (57 rec.). For career, WR Chris Chambers averages 17.6 yards per rec. vs. Oak. (22 rec., 387 yards)…LB Shawne Merriman has 6.5 sacks in past 3 vs. Oak… LB Shaun Phillips has 9.5 career sack against Oak. (most vs. any team)…LB Stephen Cooper led team with 136 tackles last season.
Raiders: A former No. 1 overall pick, JaMarcus Russell continued his development as an NFL quarterback this offseason by spending the majority of his time in the classroom watching film and studying the playbook. Russell will look to stretch the field vertically with rookie wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (1st round, No. 7) and Zach Miller, who became the first Raiders tight end to lead the team in receptions (56) and yards (778) since Todd Christensen in 1986.
Raiders have a 15-6 (.714) record at home on MNF…Dating back to 12/14/08, QB JaMarcus Russell has completed 49 of 78 passes (62.8 pct.) for 626 yards with 6 TDs vs. 2 INTs & 102.8 rating…RB Justin Fargas has led club in rushing for 3 consecutive seasons. RB Darren McFadden averages 5.3 yards per carry as starter (52 att., 274 yards)…TE Zach Miller led team with 56 rec. for 778 yards (13.9 average) & became 1st Raiders TE to lead team in rec. & yards since TE Todd Christensen in 1986…Rookie WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (1st round, No. 7) will make NFL debut…Since ’07, LB Thomas Howard (7) is tied for 1st in NFL for most INTs among LBs (Brian Urlacher)…CB Nnamdi Asomugha was named to AP All-Pro team in ’08…LB Greg Ellis will make Raiders debut after spending 11 seasons w/Dal…Last season, KR-CB Justin Miller became 1st player in club history w/2 KR-TDs in season…WR-PR Johnnie Lee Higgins set single-season club high with 3 PR-TDs in ’08.
Tags: Antonio Gates, Chris Chambers, Dan Fouts, LaDainian Tomlinson, Philip Rivers, Raiders, Shaun Phillips, Shawne Merriman, Stephen Cooper, Vincent Jackson
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There were 12,957 fans at Qualcomm Stadium tonight for the Chargers’ first public practice of training camp. According to Jim Steeg, there were 7,500 hot dogs sold as well. It was nice to hear the fans again cheering plays, yelling at players and getting involved in practice. We had so much fun we’ll do it again Saturday morning with FanFest.
The players certainly enjoyed having the fans around as well.
“I think it brings an exta bit of energy,” Head Coach Norv Turner said. “It’s got to be an impressive deal for our young players. It’s kind of a start for them to be in the stadium and get going. It really helps them in terms of getting going for the season.”
The defense definately stole the show tonight. The emphasis of practice was the two minute drill. The offense has two minutes to drive the field and the period ends when the defense either comes up with a turnover or a stop or time runs out. Steve Gregory ended one drive with a hit on Antonio Gates to break up a potential touchdown pass. Antonio Cromartie intercepted a pass to end another, and on the next play Clinton Hart stepped in front of Kris Wilson and came away with a pick.
The catch of the night went to LaDainian Tomlinson. On a goal-to-go play, Philip Rivers was forced out of the pocket to his left and arched a high pass to LT. Jyles Tucker did everything he could to break it up, but LT positioned himself perfectly and hauled in the over-the-shoulder catch.
Buster Davis was back on the field after missing some work, although Larry English took the night off with a sore hamstring. English’s injury isn’t major, just one of those things they don’t want to make worse by getting him on the field.
I had a great time chatting with Brian Wilson and Darren Bennett tonight. I got to join the duo for a segment on Xtra Sports 1360, the home of the Chargers, and it was great talking Bolts football with those guys.
There’s a special teams practice in the morning and then the full squad will get back after it tomorrow afternoon.
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, Antonio Gates, Buster Davis, Clinton Hart, LaDainian Tomlinson, Larry English, Norv Turner, Philip Rivers, Steve Gregory
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