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Antonio Gates described as “old and fat”


We now present a quote from a Chargers team source to Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports regarding Antonio Gates:

“It’s harsh to say, but he looks old and fat. He’s not beating people. We don’t have any speed, we’re soft on defense, and we put so much on our quarterback. When he was playing great, we could kind of get away with it. Now he’s not playing very well, and it’s all falling apart,” the source said.

We can confirm that the quote did not come from LaDainian Tomlinson. Gates makes for an odd target for anyone still employed by the Chargers.

While there is truth that Gates is bigger and slower, it’s not like he’s struggling to produce.  He had eight catches for 98 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against Green Bay.  In three games since returning from his latest foot injury, Gates has 17 catches for 223 yards and two scores. That’s his usual output.

Silver points the finger at Chargers G.M. A.J. Smith for San Diego’s decline. That makes a lot more sense. The talent has eroded on this team, especially on defense.

On the list of problems in San Diego, Gates’ speed ranks somewhere between the loss of Legedu Naanee and Norv Turner’s haircut.

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43 Responses to “Antonio Gates described as “old and fat””
  1. joetoronto says: Nov 7, 2011 10:09 AM

    He’s obviously no what he was, no way.

    He’s on his way down just like the rest of the team.

  2. rpiotr01 says: Nov 7, 2011 10:11 AM

    Gates did look fat and slow, but that’s still good enough to beat LBs playign soft zone coverage on crossing routes.

    Gates also used some clear veteran savvy to draw two PI calls on Woodson. Both times he was running hard with Woodson running after him, both looking at the QB. Then Gates would stop on a dime, Woodson ran into him and boom, yellow flag. Just like an the old driving scam where a guy stops short in order to make you rear-end him. He got away with it so kudos to him.

  3. revrondog says: Nov 7, 2011 10:12 AM

    Old, Fat and probably gassy too.

  4. tecmobowl34 says: Nov 7, 2011 10:16 AM

    wow, way to blame one of the guys who is actually producing. If I were Gates I’d be furious.

  5. ctattles says: Nov 7, 2011 10:17 AM

    Who says something like that about a great player in the NFL. That dude needs to shut up. What a loser. Man that makes me mad.

  6. panthers34 says: Nov 7, 2011 10:18 AM

    I think a curse follows Takeo Spikes around.

  7. richie215 says: Nov 7, 2011 10:19 AM

    What does one expect when a player begins having problems with his “wheels?” Despite having bad wheels, he’s still a top three tight end. The real problem has been AJ Smith.

    His insistence on keeping Norv Turner, making personal grudges out of business matters and poorly drafted defensive players has killed them immensely. When does HE get held accountable!?

  8. jdandcoke says: Nov 7, 2011 10:24 AM

    i saw the words “old and fat” and assumed this article was about rex ryan.

  9. halo81 says: Nov 7, 2011 10:24 AM

    The Chargers eat their own (not fans, the franchise) like no other I’ve ever seen.

    A.J. Smith has systemically ruined that franchise. He had a team years back that could have competed on a yearly basis for a Super Bowl and screwed it up over his own ego.

    From letting Brees walk without getting anything for him, to creating trouble with Tomlinson, to his handling of Vincent Jackson … it’s a joke.

    Now it’s on Antonio Gates?


  10. stoogy says: Nov 7, 2011 10:25 AM

    raiders better show up this week.

  11. blackqbwhiterb says: Nov 7, 2011 10:26 AM

    They had the most talented roster top to bottom and went 14-2. They then fired the coach, and haven’t maintained that level of talent. I would take Marty over Turner any day….

  12. r8rsfan says: Nov 7, 2011 10:28 AM

    No worry SD – Gates and the rest of the team will benefit from the trip to Oaktown. The fountain of youth springs eternal in the visitors locker room of the Coliseum. Made the Chefs look unbeatable for a week, made Tebow look legit.

  13. stoogy says: Nov 7, 2011 10:29 AM

    The raiders are ganna rebound this week and take control of the west

  14. rmm1984 says: Nov 7, 2011 10:33 AM

    jdandcoke –

    Great username and I instantly thought of Warren Sapp when I saw the headline.

  15. marty2019 says: Nov 7, 2011 10:34 AM

    Antonio Gates has always looked fat and slow, and it has always baffled my why no one can seem to cover him.

    And yet, he continues to get open and catch passes. And that’s what counts. He’s the oldest looking, and fattest looking, hall of fame caliber tight end I have ever seen.

  16. riverhorsey says: Nov 7, 2011 10:35 AM

    Would take Marty over AJ Smith any day of the week.

  17. The Phantom Stranger says: Nov 7, 2011 10:46 AM

    I resemble that remark.

  18. jrizzo575 says: Nov 7, 2011 10:46 AM

    Looking for someone to blame? Ok, let’s start with Rivers. Every time he makes a mistake, he starts looking around shaking his head as if he is trying to assign blame (afterall, it *couldn’t* be his fault, right?). I lost all respect for him when he chirped at Cutler, who is no saint himself, but really Phillip? – what great qb have you seen who has ever been a trash talker to that degree? It’s hard to imagine Joe Montana trouncing Jim Everett for 60 minutes and then mocking him on the field.

    Next, let’s talk Norvell Turner. As a Skins fan, I’ve seen enough of this and can tell you that if given the opportunity, ol’ Norv will find a way to lose an important game.

  19. 303bengalguy says: Nov 7, 2011 10:59 AM

    I actually said that to myself last week on MNF… “Man, is it just me or is Gates really stocky?”

  20. norseyapper says: Nov 7, 2011 11:15 AM

    There’s no doubt he’s carrying extra weight, and he looks slower. He also gets open, catches what’s thrown to him, and gets penatly calls.

    The better question may be how much the extra 25-30 pounds is contributing to the never ending foot problems that he’s been having.

  21. americankris says: Nov 7, 2011 11:17 AM

    Trade him to the Falcons then


  22. sterilizecromartie says: Nov 7, 2011 11:19 AM

    It’s really not a big deal if Gates has lost a step. TEs aren’t supposed to be burners on the field. Hell, Tony Gonzalez just might be the slowest man in the NFL at this point, but he still produces because he runs great routes and has great hands.

  23. glennsyank13 says: Nov 7, 2011 11:25 AM

    Brian Billick commented that Gates “only” had 3 catches in the first half… Only… A pace for 96 catches in a 16 games season qualifies as an “only”???

  24. dontouchmyjunk says: Nov 7, 2011 11:37 AM

    At some point, team ownership has to realize that the Chargers problems begin and end with “The Lord of No Rings”, AJ Smith.

  25. stoogy says: Nov 7, 2011 11:45 AM

    raiders are going to beatt them…

  26. stoogy says: Nov 7, 2011 11:56 AM

    lets go raiders

  27. firedup1 says: Nov 7, 2011 12:00 PM

    SD will get back on track this week.

  28. darth1050 says: Nov 7, 2011 12:07 PM

    Unnamed source, Silver probably made it up.

  29. mogogo1 says: Nov 7, 2011 12:21 PM

    If the organization has any integrity, they will hunt down that unnamed source and fire him. You don’t call one of your team’s all-time greats “old and fat” when he’s still producing. You simply don’t.

    It also speaks volumes about how messed up the priorities must be with the Chargers that Gates is a primary concern to this guy. Maybe he should be worrying about why Rivers is leading the NFL in interceptions–they would have beaten the Packers yesterday if not for the pick sixes Rivers threw.

  30. cantonbound13 says: Nov 7, 2011 12:27 PM

    Not only does Gates look fat but has anyone noticed Tolbert? Who’s in charge of strength & conditioning in SanDiego?

  31. rushmatic says: Nov 7, 2011 12:32 PM

    joetoronto says:
    He’s obviously no what he was, no way.

    He’s on his way down just like the rest of the team.


    Is there a chance you’ll be getting a life any time soon?

  32. chipper41 says: Nov 7, 2011 12:33 PM

    give all the credit to Buddy Nix for those great drafts AJ had right after John Butler died…Once Buddy left his drafts went to crap. And for a team that refuses to sign free agents you live and die by your draft and the Chargers are dying.

  33. chris6523 says: Nov 7, 2011 12:38 PM

    Watching the game yesterday, the only word to describe Gates would be “wide open”, as in “a wide open Antonio Gates just burned the packers defense for 17 yards on 3rd and 16.

  34. vanmorrissey says: Nov 7, 2011 12:46 PM

    Agree with a couple of comments there Greg, Gates weight and lack of mobility is directly tied to the foot problems he’s had for about 3 years now but I guess he presents a better option at 60-70% than other TE’s at 100%. Plus Smith has not drafted a single impact player on the defensive side since Merriman, and we know how that turned out. Bust after bust after bust, that’s on Smith, no one else.

  35. rajbais says: Nov 7, 2011 1:10 PM

    So what!!

    He can lose weight and become a bulked up WR!!!! The Chargers’ season is over!!! Make Gates weigh 240, 245, or 250 and make him look leaner than Mike Silver and those dudes using P-90X!!!!

  36. icanspeel says: Nov 7, 2011 1:10 PM

    Even if he was considered “old and fat” right now.. “In three games since returning from his latest foot injury, Gates has 17 catches for 223 yards and two scores. ” I think most teams would take that production out of their tight end coming off an injury

  37. jpb12 says: Nov 7, 2011 1:29 PM

    So he looks like Charles Barkley

  38. granadafan says: Nov 7, 2011 1:59 PM

    Tony Gonzalez, who is much older, is still in fantastic shape and producing very well on the field. Tony may have lost a step, but he makes up for it in conditioning, strength, precise route running, and leadership. Gates could take a lesson from one of the best tight ends in NFL history in work ethic.

  39. spencodude says: Nov 7, 2011 2:23 PM

    So can my mother play for the chargers then?

  40. suckafree67 says: Nov 7, 2011 5:29 PM

    @ spencodude

    So can my mother play for the chargers then?, but she can play for the Ray-Duhhs..

    they need help..and after they come to SD for a beat down, your Mum may be up for the coaching job..

    So many teams have done bad for decades and now that Rivers is having his worst year, everyone wants to bad mouth the Bolts, we never claimed them to be a SB winner every year, the media has..

    real Bolts fans support winning and losing, but we get tired of the “media SB” always been mentioned in SD..

    games are won on the filed, not paper, let’s take this week by week and see what happens, highs and lows, we are still Bolts fans!

    Go Chargers!

  41. gerard33 says: Nov 7, 2011 7:26 PM

    So a GREAT player tries to play through a painful injury, and this is the treatment he gets. Nice, especially from an anonymous coward

  42. chagas760 says: Nov 7, 2011 9:27 PM

    I’m a huge a charger but for the last couple years my theory for this team is that they are a farm club for the NFL (example) michael turner, Wes welker, drew brees, LT ect..

  43. spencodude says: Nov 7, 2011 10:47 PM

    @ suckafree67. dude chill. i know Antonio Gates is one of the best TE’s to play the game. and the Chargers are just hitting a minor bump in the road. but i honestly dont see Tim tebow’s broncos, “rob Johnson” aka Matt cassel’s Chiefs. Carson “No emotion” Palmer;s raiders reaching the playoffs.
    BTW, ima bengals fan.

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