Skip to content

Cunningham says Gates isn’t the same player he was

Antonio Gates AP

Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham has become fairly talkative this year.  Most recently, he has fired a mini-shot at Chargers tight end Antonio Gates.

“Gates, he’s not doing the things he did five, six-years ago, but he’s gotten a lot smarter,” Cunningham said Thursday, via Anwar Richardson of MLive.com.  “His routes are exceptional.  He sets you up.  If a young guy covers him, you’re in trouble.  He knows exactly what he’s doing and the quarterback feels him.”

It’s not nearly as harsh as the assessment made earlier this year by an unnamed member of the Chargers organization, who called Gates “old and fat.”  Gates told NBC SportsTalk last Friday that he wasn’t bothered by that remark.

Thus, Gates likely won’t be troubled by Cunningham’s comments.  Indeed, there’s a chance Gates would agree with Cunningham.

Regardless, the Lions need to find a way to deal with the suddenly souped-up San Diego offense on Saturday.  I think the Lions will; Rosenthal disagrees.

Permalink 25 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Detroit Lions, Home, Rumor Mill, San Diego Chargers
25 Responses to “Cunningham says Gates isn’t the same player he was”
  1. DubZ480 says: Dec 22, 2011 3:58 PM

    Cunningham isn’t the same coach he once was… Somehow I think Gates will make a point of proving that!

  2. grpatriot says: Dec 22, 2011 4:02 PM

    I don’t know Mike, Greg could be right? The Charger’s R used to beating teams in their own dome……C the Colts and it’s still Dec. Norv’s best Coaching and River’s best play! Great record in Dec.

  3. linebusy says: Dec 22, 2011 4:09 PM

    Sounds quite complimentary to me. You really have to go out of your way to interpret what Gun said as being a “shot”.

  4. ahs2 says: Dec 22, 2011 4:09 PM

    Gunther has never been “eloquent” and I am confident that he is just saying that what Gates has lost in speed/quickness he has made up for in spades with his football intelligence! 100% compliment!!

    I’ll take a little slower and crafty vs quick with less experience any day! The late Al Davis would disagree with that ;-)

  5. eddieapoc says: Dec 22, 2011 4:09 PM

    With all the injuries in the Lions secondary its going to be tough to match up.

    Lions need to get a lot of pressure up front to have a chance of stopping San Diego.

  6. marvsleezy says: Dec 22, 2011 4:11 PM

    I dont know how many clicks this article will get – But if you just used an honest headline like this:

    “Cunningham says Gates isn’t the same player he was, but he’s gotten a lot smarter.”

    _____________
    Im guessing you would get a third as many hits, and then I wouldnt have wasted my time reading this harmless quote and thus uninformative article.

  7. spartaninnh says: Dec 22, 2011 4:24 PM

    How can this POSSIBLY be viewed as a shot? Calling an All-Pro “a lot smarter”? saying that he runs “exceptional routes”? saying a young secondary is “in trouble” against him?

    I wish someone would take shots at me like that, for crying out loud. Not only did Cunningham praise him highly, he didn’t lie or exaggerate one bit. This is exactly what you WANT from coaches — but when you get it, you complain. Just like you complain when coaches are “bland” or “vanilla” like Belichick.

    So…coaches either “take shots” or are “bland.” Give me — and I suspect you — “shots” like these any day of the week.

  8. bolt4life says: Dec 22, 2011 4:31 PM

    After Gates was called old and fat, he said he used that as motivation and has looked great again.

    I hope Gates gets wind of this.

  9. primetime0552 says: Dec 22, 2011 4:46 PM

    He wasn’t dissing Gates. The same could be said about Anthony Gonzoles. They are still great tight ends, but they really on different skills then they did earlier in their careers.

  10. brianinwv says: Dec 22, 2011 4:47 PM

    Is it a “shot” or telling the truth? I think even Gates would agree with what Gunther said.

  11. sbxxix says: Dec 22, 2011 4:58 PM

    If the Chargers make the playoffs, I think they have a legit chance to make the Super Bowl. Usually their fire runs out right before the playoffs but this year it’s barely catching on. Gate, Floyd and Jackson are big threats not to mention upcoming receiver Vincent Brown out of SDSU who is quietly becoming a star. If they keep spreading the ball, they have a good shot. Norv turner has no choice but to be aggresive on offense or he’ll lose his job so he’ll leave everything on the table. No tomorrow for him in SD after this year so he better go all out and he will. Just wait and see

  12. 1captain1 says: Dec 22, 2011 5:02 PM

    Cunningham’s not doing the things he did four, five, or six years ago…

    …LIKE pleasing his wife!

    Cue Snare Drum Rimshot!

  13. joetoronto says: Dec 22, 2011 5:06 PM

    Just move baby.

  14. sws222 says: Dec 22, 2011 5:14 PM

    Hear me now and believe me later….if the Lions ever put 4 quarters of good solid offense, defense, and special teams together, and cut out the stupid penalties….they could dominate any team in the NFL.

  15. rohlo says: Dec 22, 2011 5:45 PM

    joetoronto says:
    Dec 22, 2011 5:06 PM

    Just move baby.

    —- mark it down rams will be back in LA after lease expires in st louis kroenke wants to sell rams to aeg in LA.he then wants to buy broncos from bowlen so he will then own 3 denver teams (avalanche,nuggets,broncos) there was a story about this months ago. on cbs2 in LA jim hill reported the raiders were interested in moving back to LA to play in the new stadium as they dont wanna share one with the 49ers..then u have the jags situation in a report on here which stated if rams move back to LA the jags might end up in ST louis.. san diego has A vote next fall for their new stadium and the spanos family doesnt wanna sell majority stake in team which is what AEG wants in LA to bring a team to downtown LA (hence the rams story)..getting a stadium in cali iss a pain the ass!!! damn liberrals its a no wonder we have the 3 worst stadiums in the league right here in cali…

  16. rushmatic says: Dec 22, 2011 6:11 PM

    linebusy says:
    Sounds quite complimentary to me. You really have to go out of your way to interpret what Gun said as being a “shot”.

    __________________

    That’s exactly what I was thinking. He’s not the same player because he’s smarter than he once was?

    How derogatory!

  17. rushmatic says: Dec 22, 2011 6:14 PM

    sws222 says:
    Hear me now and believe me later….if the Lions ever put 4 quarters of good solid offense, defense, and special teams together, and cut out the stupid penalties….they could dominate any team in the NFL.

    ___________________

    The problem for most average-to-above-average NFL teams is exactly that. Why is that something we should mark down?

  18. eaglesnoles05 says: Dec 22, 2011 7:00 PM

    Who gives a crap what Gunther thinks. When I see “Cunningham says,” I want Randall’s take. The REAL Cunningham.

  19. tag25 says: Dec 22, 2011 8:28 PM

    Well, he’s kind of right. He’s still better than Brandon Pettigrew… Lol

  20. patsfiend says: Dec 23, 2011 12:14 AM

    It was a while ago, and I’m pretty sure his foot was hurt, but when he played the Pats, I looked over at my Mom in her basement where I live and said, “Gates looks old and fat.” Then the Pats held him without a catch.

    It was quite a moment.

  21. jimmylions says: Dec 23, 2011 12:25 AM

    Rosenthal didn’t factor in the home field for Detroit. On Saturday, Ford Field (The Glass House) is going to be as loud as it was when the Lions played on Monday night. If the Chargers can’t quiet down the crowd quickly, they’ll have a lot of problems.

    Also – I think this game, and this playoff birth, means more to the Lions than the Chargers. It’s been a long drought in Detroit. The Lions are going to come out strong and that crowd will keep them pumped up the whole game.

    The big issue will be keeping the young players settled down so they don’t make the usual stupid penalties.

  22. tomsd1 says: Dec 23, 2011 7:53 AM

    Hey – I think it was a fun quote to play with – and Gut fur Gunter. :)

    And Joe from Toronto: Word out here and from LA is Chargers B gone. Just trying to keep it quiet to sell more game tix.

  23. tomsd1 says: Dec 23, 2011 7:55 AM

    BTW – Chargers still have NO D – so how are they going to make a run in the playoffs, if, and that’s a HUGE IF – they even make the playoffs?

  24. jjackwagon says: Dec 23, 2011 8:30 AM

    The Chargers are on a 3 game win streak but two of those wins were against the Bills and the Jags so I wouldn’t get too excited about their playoffs chances.

  25. jmacphee9 says: Dec 23, 2011 1:46 PM

    that sounds alot more like a compliment imo

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!