Found August 01, 2012 on
The San Diego Chargers aren't media darlings anymore, and Antonio Gates says that may be a good thing.
''It's definitely humbling,'' said the eight-time Pro Bowl tight end. ''Because we haven't gotten that exposure, it's humbling to our team.''
For the first time in years, the Chargers (No. 16 in the AP Pro32) aren't the pundits' pick to win the AFC West, let alone a trendy choice to reach the Super Bowl. Not after having missed the playoffs the last two years.
Peyton Manning's arrival in Denver has made the Broncos the talk of the division, and Chargers fullback Jacob Hester, like Gates, sees potential in San Diego's reduced media profile.
''It's kind of good this year to not have people talking about you,'' said Hester, who joined the team in 2008. ''I hope it stays that way and we go out and have a workman's mentality and do what we need to do.''
The Chargers won the AFC West from 2006-09 but have missed the postseason for two straight seasons and have one playoff win in the last four years. For all the chatter about their abundant talent, they didn't claim the Super Bowl berth many experts began predicting for them years ago.
Gates figures the Chargers should take advantage of any slights by the prognosticators now, whether real or perceived. ''Knowing they didn't pick us to win, you can use that as fuel going into the season and say, `I've got a chip on my shoulder, they picked Kansas City to win the division,' '' he said.
Chargers coach Norv Turner said he's encouraged by the team's offseason workouts and what he's seen over the first week of full-squad practices in training camp. Turner cited the addition of 18 free agents and a rookie class headlined by pass rusher Melvin Ingram, the No. 18 selection.
''We're much more athletic,'' Turner said. ''We're much faster. And I believe we're going to be much more physical. Again, we have a lot of work to do to get everyone on the same page and get everyone understanding what we're trying to accomplish.''
Several players commended the front office for importing a large group of NFL veterans, among them former Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson and former Saints wide receiver Robert Meachem.
Typically, the Chargers don't bring in so many outside players.
''Every practice, every rep is a contested rep as far as the ball, the routes,'' said quarterback Philip Rivers. ''There's a lot of good players out there. It's going to make each guy better.''
Hester said each veteran newcomer is ''a high-character guy'' who ''gelled as soon as he got here.''
Gates said he's discerned a stronger commitment to offseason workouts and conditioning, throughout the team. ''It doesn't guarantee anything but it's a start for us,'' he said.
Online: http://bigstory.ap.org/NFL-Pro32 and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
BEST OF MAXIM
If you were unfortunate enough to have Antonio Gates on your team last season, there is most likely hesitation about taking him again. He was often injured or labeled the dreaded “game time decision”. Surprisingly, he was actually able to perform when limping around the field. What are people saying about his status this season?
According to San Diego Union-Tribune writer Michael Gehlken, Chargers wide receiver Robert Meachem left Wednesday's practice with a knee injury.Fantasy Spin:Though not expected to be serious, any time away from learning a new offense will hurt his productivity. Meachem joins Malcom Floyd, Vincent Brown and aging, but still elite tight end Antonio Gates. Unless we hear that the...
Ryan Mathews suffered “minor injuries” in a two car collision according to Debbi Baker of U-T San Diego.
The California Highway Patrol reported Mathews was driving his BMW on Interstate 8 when he lost control and hit another car.
Mathews was brought to a local hospital after experiencing pain. The California Highway Patrol said speed could be the cause; however, no one in...
I’m back Juan…
Antonio Gates has been a staple as a fantasy stud TE for years. Toe and foot issues have limited him recently, but he feels as close to 100% as he has in years. He has been making phenomenal catches at camp and looks to be back to his old self.
I’m All In: Ryan Mathews
Don’t Sleep On Philip Rivers
San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews suffered minor injuries in a car crash and is listed as ''day to day.''
The California Highway Patrol says Mathews lost control of his BMW while entering the Interstate 8 freeway Monday and hit another car.
A CHP officer says Mathews might have been driving too fast, but no drugs or alcohol was involved in the crash....
With 19 of 33 races completed, Brian Scott is currently ninth in the Nationwide Series Championship point standings. At this point in the season, Scott has two top-five finishes and five top-10 finishes. Scott earned his 2012 season-best result of third at Dover International Speedway on June 2. This weekend, Scott and the No. 11 Dollar General team head to Iowa Speedway for the...
Each year, I make several long treks along our nation's highways to take in the glorious sounds of crashing helmets, popping pads and air horns.
Yes, I said air horns. It's a Pavlovian experience. You might not understand.
There is a magic in the air that surrounds training camps. You're not watching NFL players under bright lights or on the grand stage in a stylized...
San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews suffered minor
injuries in a car crash and is listed as ''day to day.''
Comments on the San Diego Chargers by the AP Pro32 panel (ranking in parentheses):
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (16)
Rick Gosselin (Dallas Morning News, 12): If Philip Rivers can minimize turnovers, Chargers will again contend for Super Bowl; his 25 in 2011 took San Diego out of contention.
Cris Collinsworth (NBC Sports, 13): Ryan Mathews must take pressure off Phillip Rivers. Too many...
The Chargers continued training camp on Tuesday and SDBoltReport.com’s Anthony Gentile was at the afternoon practice for a closer look. How did the new QB fare? Which defensive rookie stood out? Which starting unit got the best of the two-minute drill? These answers and more inside.
The Chargers held practice under the lights at Qualcomm Stadium on Wednesday night and SDBoltReport.com's Anthony Gentile was there to break down the action. Which receiver moved the chains in the two-minute drill? Which linebacker stood out? These answers and more inside.
Hot News for TE Antonio Gates
Ryan Mathews missed practice as result of minor injuries sustained in a car crash – Though the injuries were undisclosed, they have been described as “minor” and given Mathews’ presence at camp, it’s safe to assume they’re no threat to his missing any significant practice time. The Chargers were likely just being cautious here. The other important note is that police...
You can have the one on the left Juan…
Now, if I was a NFL player, I would probably want to play in Southern California. I love the scenery there.
Antonio Gates Making Plays
Ryan Mathews Doing Work