Gates still miffed at his Top 100 ranking


If nothing else, the slow-month exercise of NFL players ranking other NFL players gives some of the NFL players extra motivation for the coming season.

Case in point, Chargers tight end Antonio Gates is still unhappy with his placement at No. 73.  He wasn’t happy then, and he’s even less happy now that four other tight ends (and counting) have been named in front of him.

“It was frustrating to me because I felt like numbers-wise, you can always compare and say statistics mean everything,” Gates recently told Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times.  “But once you play, and you understand the game of football and game-planning, I’ve always felt who got the most respect and demanded the most attention ideally is the guy who had the biggest impact.”

“That kind of gave me a chip.  Sometimes you need that kind of thing.  I just feel like the coverages I’ve seen at this position, I don’t really see when I watch other guys that they talk about.”

The four other guys who landed higher on the list than Gates at No. 73 are Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (No. 47), Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (No. 41), 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (No. 38), and Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (No. 25).  The top 20 players have yet to be unveiled.

Gates, who turns 33 on Tuesday, caught only 49 passes in 15 games last year, down from 64 in 13 the prior year.  Of his 83 career touchdowns, his career high of 13 came in 2004, Gates’ second NFL season.

During the 2011, a Chargers team source said Gates looked “old and fat.”  At the time, Gates said he wasn’t bothered by the opinion of someone within the organization.

He’s definitely bothered by the collective opinions of the players who voted on their top 100 peers.

It’s not the first time this has happened.  Last year, Eagles quarterback Mike Vick called his placement at No. 70 “a joke.”  Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said the same thing regarding Eli Manning’s No. 31 finish after winning his second Super Bowl MVP award.

41 responses to “Gates still miffed at his Top 100 ranking

  1. He’s lucky that Jimmy Graham was beat up last season or Gates would be the 5th TE on the list.

  2. Turned out, however, that Vick’s No. 70 ranking wasn’t a joke, nor was Manning’s No. 31 ranking.
    In my humble — albeit a bit biased — opinion, there aren’t many tight ends better than the grossly underrated Heath Miller.

  3. I think Antonia Gates should be thankful Dennis Pitta wasn’t ranked ahead of him. Hasn’t played like an elite tight end for a while now. He better use it as motivation.

  4. This is why Gates will always be remembered as a good but not hall of fame tight end. Had a couple good years then slowly got worse with age. Plus, these comments show his selfishness and diva status. He’s clearly more worried about his reputation among peers than winning games.

    I think if he had gone to a better sports town, and to a team with a more mature quarterback the story may have been different. Imagine him in New Orleans with Brees. Just look at what Jimmy Graham has been able to do.

  5. personally I think Gates should be happy with that number. I think there are a couple other te’s that maybe should have been ahead of him. oh and Vick should not have made the list. Didn’t any of the guys that voted see him play last year?

  6. #1. Gate’s peers around the league vote for the top 100.
    #2. Gates is lobbying a non-issue cause the ranking wont be changed
    #3. He played on a crappy team.
    #4. The list is “top 100 of 2012 NOT 2005 – 2012
    #5 Like Donovan McNabb, Maybe he just isnt as good as he USED to be

  7. Personally I think the best way to prove the critics wrong is to overprepare for this year and destroy the record books, but if he thinks perpetually complaining is the way to go, who am I to judge?

  8. Get over it. He only had 500 yards receiving last year. That’s nineteenth among tight ends. He hasn’t played a full season since 2009. We don’t see why he even made the list.

  9. Anyone who watches football and Knows a thing about football and does not bet with the heart Knows gates is done. He should have been done 3 years ago. Jason W is the best in football right now followed by the guys in New England. Its just facts . Its like most of the time most players don’t know when to hang it up. Gates is washed up just like ware in dallas. Some times it takes people to make players understand that.

  10. I also agree if you don’t like a team running up a score stop them. If you don’t like your ranking play better. Its that simple. Gates is a has been and has been for 3 years. Go lay down you old has been.

  11. Watchin NFLN and the top 100 I gotta believe more than half the “experts” talking about it don’t know what the list is about. They start talking about carreer stats as a reason X player should be higher or lower.
    It was a simple question…Who do you think the top 100 players of the 2013 season were?
    How many SB’s someone won is moot unless it was a Raven.
    Makes me think more than half the people voting didn’t consider THE question too.

  12. Well since offensive players are going to be hindered with the new pad rule, I expect soon he’ll drop way out of the Top 100.

    Have fun coping with that, mister most insecure gates I have ever seen.

  13. I still want clarity on how many players are actually polled. Is it just the 15-20 total players that appear as commentators on each player? Why are guys like Jordan Babinauex on there being featured for his opinion and not guys like Polamalu/Reed/anyone actually relevant at the position?

  14. Poll the D-coordinators..Gates would be number one among tight ends…No team changes their d-plan to account for Whitten..LMAO

  15. Gates was phenomenal 4 or 5 years ago. Anybody who isn’t looking through bias eyes would see the the man’s talents have diminished. He is still a big target but I can name 6 or 7 tight ends in NFL that are better including both Patriot TE’s and I hate that team.

  16. flannlv says:
    Jun 14, 2013 10:17 PM

    Name two current TE’s you would rather have over Graham.
    Ill do better than that. Ill name 4 in no specific order
    Vernon Davis
    Rob Gronkowski
    Jason Witten
    Heath Miller

    Tight ends block as well. Jimmy Graham couldn’t block Rebbeca Lobo if she was coming at the quarterback.

    Jimmy Graham also has stone hands and lets not forget all the bone head penalties. Add all those points together and Graham is behind most of those guys I mentioned. You just see receiving yards and Tds.
    Watch more football so you and your whiny cohorts have a better idea of what your talking about instead of looking for excuses on why everyone wants to see you lose.
    And for the thumbs down I’m sure ill get, it’ll show how many Saints fans read this and for the thumbs up will be representatives of the other 31 teams.

  17. Antonio Gates floundered through the first half of the season. He was so bad I had to cut him from my ff team. Then he got picked up off waivers and stuck it to me in the shiva bowl. And I’m still miffed

  18. Good god! This show is a popularity contest among guys who have shown they can be as clueless as fans and the media. It’s a stupid show, nothing but a ridiculous amount of filler for NFL Network. Even stupider is the reaction show. As a a chargers fan I love Gates, but dude just use it as fuel. This show means NOTHING, no matter how much NFL Net tries to fluff it up.

  19. Plus, I doubt Gates is running around talking about it, someone probably asked him about it again. I don’t think he’s sitting around stewing over it.

  20. lionboy23 says:
    Jun 14, 2013 8:36 PM
    I just went to… Gates had 538 yards last year, good for 19th among TEs.
    And he never could block worth a lick, even when he wasn’t old and washed up.

  21. Once you were great. At 33m chances are you won’t catch lightning in a bottle. Try not to be bitter like Brown, Tarkenton,…(and the list goes on)…

  22. If he were listed at number 99 he would be so lucky to even be named there.

    He’ll have a few good games this year, but he truly can’t do it consistently anymore.

    Again, just go off the players’ Pro Bowl votes.

    This list’s current way clearly isn’t working when Gates is on.

  23. I’m trying not to drop negativity on all these boards, but Gates is out of his mind. He’s not over the hill, he’s sitting down on the other side of it eating a big tub of ice-cream.

    The only thing that possibly clouds that judgment is how horrible of a QB Phillip Rivers has become. The only way Gates will ever catch 65 passes in a season again is if he lined up in the backfield.

  24. Yeah, but here’s the thing about those 4 placed ahead of you, Mr Gates. They ARE all better.

    Deal with it or go back to basketball.

  25. After a little more thought, Vick said that he should be higher than #70, but at least he’s in the top 10, and everyone forgot about Ron Mexico.

  26. Gates is no longer a top 5 TE stat wise. But if you actually watch the games you’d see how big of an impact he has by just being on the field. If he received the same type of coverages most of the other TEs in the league get (especially goal line) he would easily get 15+ TDs a season along with close to double the yardage. The thing is he still puts up some halfway decent stats even though the talent around him has all but vanished. Hes not the same player he once was. But hes still one of the top 3 TEs in the league when you facter in the impact he has in a game and all the extra attention other teams must give him. Speed has never been part of his game. He has amazing hands and can still get open by using his moves. Try to cover him with just a saftey or a LB all season and he will be 1st team All-Pro.

  27. Gates has been on the decline for years. His comments are quite annoying coming from a big time Charger fan. 3 years ago he was the best TE in the game. Now, not even top 10. I hope this “chip” on his shoulder amounts to something, but with his body breaking down, it’s highly unlikely. The Chargers will finally be able to lean on their WR’s.

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