Antonio Gates owns numerous team and NFL records. None, though, compares to the one he should break this season.
His next touchdown catch will be No. 112 in his career, breaking his tie with Tony Gonzalez for the most touchdown receptions by a tight end in NFL history. It also will rank sixth among anyone ever, trailing only Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Cris Carter and Marvin Harrison.
Typically, though, Gates isn’t thinking about it.
“I mean, do I know it’s there? Yeah,” Gates said, via Ricky Henne of the team website. “It’s like I’m at the dance, I might as well go to the party because it’s within reach. But that isn’t my focus at all. It really isn’t on my mind. I don’t think that way. I guess maybe it’s because I haven’t wrapped my head around it all yet. I know it’s happening, and I know it’s a big deal, but it’s not like I’m sitting here every day saying, ‘I need one. I need one.’ But one isn’t the destination for me. The destination is to surpass just one. I have 16 weeks. The destination for me is whenever I’m done playing, then tally them all up and see where I’m at. So that’s what I’m thinking. Now, when the game comes, then yeah probably I’ll think about it a little more. But it really isn’t anything I’m thinking of. I’m not going out there thinking I need to do something extra in the red zone. I’m still myself.”
Gates, 37, has 897 career receptions for 11,192 yards in his career.