SAN DIEGO --
But there's one number that bothers him -- 73.
That’s his ranking on the
“It was frustrating to me because I felt like numbers-wise, you can always compare and say statistics mean everything,” Gates told The Times at
"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."
Gates, who turns 33 next week, saw his productivity drop off a bit over the last two seasons, when he increasingly was more of a factor in the red zone than between the 20-yard lines. He looks leaner and quicker than in recent years, and he remains one of San Diego's most dangerous offensive threats. He said whereas other tight ends also draw coverage from linebackers, he'll typically have a cornerback on him, and sometimes the best corner on the field.
“At times on third down, [Denver All-Pro cornerback]