Share This Episode
Zach Gelb Show Zach Gelb Logo

Antonio Gates, Former Los Angeles Chargers Tight End

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
December 20, 2022 8:17 pm

Antonio Gates, Former Los Angeles Chargers Tight End

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 1432 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

December 20, 2022 8:17 pm

Antonio Gates joined Zach to discuss the ceiling for how great Justin Herbert can be and if Sean Payton should be the Chargers head coach next season. 

JR Sport Brief
The Drive with Josh Graham
Josh Graham
The Rich Eisen Show
Rich Eisen
The Rich Eisen Show
Rich Eisen
The Rich Eisen Show
Rich Eisen

What's the strangest thing you're afraid of? Tails without fur on them, such as rats or opossums. I'm Larry Mullins, host of the podcast Your Weirdest Fears, where we dig into the crazy things you're afraid of. Everything from animal people hybrids, you know people who get surgeries to look like an animal, to giant statues.

If I ever saw one of those giant statues, I probably would poop my pants. Listen and subscribe on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts from. The holiday season is in full swing. As you plan time with family and friends, there might be someone you can't be with, but who's close to your heart. Show them how much you're thinking of them with one-of-a-kind flowers and gifts from From blooms and bites to festive decor and party essentials, has everything you need to express and connect for the holidays, birthdays, or every day.

Shop slash listen today. We continue it is the Zach Yelp show coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio. Now joining us is a man that has the most receiving touchdowns by a tight end in NFL history.

He will one day be in Canton, Ohio as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and that is the legendary Antonio Gates here with us on behalf of Captain Morgan via the Fan of the Year contest. Antonio always great to catch up with you, appreciate the time. How you been? How you doing, man? You alright?

Yeah, I'm doing fantastic. So I love your story. Not only did you have a legendary career, it's one of the all-time great NFL stories because you never played college football. For you, when was it that you realized, hey, not only can I do this in the NFL, but I could do it at an elite level? I think it was probably, you know, I heard that, you know, and maybe the first game I stepped out there because my first time playing was like the second game of my rookie season and that's because the starting tight end had got injured and it was a guy named Rob Woodson, who you might know of, the football word, definitely knows of, and he played safety for the Raiders at the time and I just remember saying to myself, they had called a play for me and I was thinking to myself, why would y'all call this play against Rob Woodson? I've been watching him cover, I've been watching him cover people forever, you know, and all the video games I had played, but to that point, Rob Woodson was always one of the better cover guys on the game, not only in his position, just on the game in general, so I think my first two or three passes that I ever caught in the National Football League was against him and I think that part, yeah, that was one of the things where after like the third time, it was all third downs and I remember saying to myself, you know what, yeah, that's Rob Woodson, I can be out here and I think that's where the confidence came from initially and it's like anything, you doubt yourself, but once you get out there, you get a chance to say, well, I belong out here and it just snowballed from there, man. I looked up and things were happening so fast and I look up and it was year 16.

I feel like I blinked and I looked up and it was year 16, so I really enjoyed the whole journey. What are you most proud about when you look back at your NFL career and what do you want people to take away from it when we look back at it years from now? Well, I think, you know, I think the thing I enjoy the most and I think what I always try to implement with my teammates is that, you know, the trust, right, they can always trust and understand that Antonio Gates was going to be there between those lines and I think that speaks volumes and when we get a chance to see some of these former players, you know, I think that's something that we still hold dear to our heart when we see them have these conversations just because I know, you know, you know, guys come and go. The NFL is like a revolving door and I think that all the guys that ever come through, you know, the Chargers organization realize the magnitude of how much work I have put in yet they can believe and trust in me and I think that's something and I have fun doing it.

Not only that, I have fun doing it. I think that was always like my message is that make sure you enjoy this journey because it, you know, it'll be over before you know it and I think that's what I try to do. I try to enjoy every moment but yet I, you know, and I would be so, I would be so implemented in the game plan where I just never wanted to let my teammates down. You know, obviously the coaches had to believe in me but it was more so about what the guys that felt about me in the locker room meant. That meant the most to me.

Antonio Gates here with us. So when you were at Michigan State, Saban wanted you to only play football. You wanted to double dip, do football and basketball. What were that conversations like with Nick Saban and take me through that decision-making process where you eventually left?

Well, obviously he was right. I'm the all-time leader in the history of the game. I think I had so much skin in the game from the game of basketball and I had put so much work into the game of basketball. For my whole career and my whole, you know, adolescent teenager life, I just always was a basketball player and that's what always, I always thought I was going pro playing basketball just because I was always good at it. And football was just a natural thing.

It was very natural for me. It'll be, you know, the analogy that I normally use when it comes to the game of football and basketball is just, you know, back when you were going to the prom or going to the homecoming dance and you wanted to pick a girl that you wanted to go with, right? And it was like a girl you wanted to be with and a girl wanted to be with you. And I think the girl I wanted to be with was the basketball. If the girl wanted to be with me was a game of football.

And I think that's kind of how that all unfolded. It was just, football was just, I did everything so great. I was, I had a great size. How much you weigh?

255, that's great. How tall are you? 6'4", that's great.

How fat? Oh, I mean, you can run. That's great. Your jumping ability is great. Basketball was kind of like, uh, you know, can you do that again?

You know, uh, you 6'4", what position you gonna play? And it was always that, that indecisive, you know, I was always in limbo with the game of basketball. I was averaging 20 points in college. I averaged close to 30 in high school, but yet they were always asking me, can you do this more?

Can you do that? And it never was right. You know, football, it didn't matter what I did.

It was just great, great, great, great. And I think that's what led me to start saying football was probably the best option for me because everything I had, even when I wouldn't try and I made a catch, oh, that's, that's good. You know, so I didn't have to put as much in the game of football. And then what I did when I started playing the game of football, I took the detailed things that I would do on the game of basketball, the hard work, the preparation, because I was on the size. I had to put so much in the game of basketball to be successful. And I used that same mechanism and I put it in the game of football and I said, you know what? Now I'm taller than everybody, right?

These guys ain't 6'9", playing corner. You know what I mean? So, uh, it ended up working out for me.

Well, yeah, you could say that you found the right girl and you had a whole career. There's no doubt about that Antonio Gates. So the Chargers now they're getting hot at the right time. They're getting healthier.

They're eight and six. Justin Herbert's been an absolute stud. Just what have been your impressions of Herbert his first three years in the league and what do you expect out of the Chargers the rest of the way? I think they're in the driver's seat in terms of, you know, their destiny. And I think that's that's the biggest thing. That's the only thing you can ask for right now in this quarter of the season. The end of the season, uh, that big, that was a big winning as Miami big winning is Tennessee Titans. So now we're in the driver's seat and I think we are, we are well aware of that.

But yet there's no complacency because, you know, this, this lead is very tough. Every game means to me now the postseason has truly started for the Chargers because every game has that much significance in terms of going to the postseason. So now I just we will treat every game. If I was in the locker room, the talks would be, let's just treat every game like a playoff because this is what it means.

Because, you know, one, two games now you can be out of the playoffs. So, you know, I'm definitely, I'm sure that the coach staff has implemented that. And, um, as far as Justin is concerned, he's unbelievable. Uh, his magnitude of learning and the learning curve at the quarterback is probably the most difficult position you can have and he's been able to do it and do it and glorify me. And I, I can't, and I played with a guy Philip Rivers, right?

I played with degrees. I had a chance to play with Doug Flutie. So I played with some phenomenal quarterbacks and just to watch this guy throw the ball the way he can throw it, the way he moves around, uh, sky's the limit for him. Um, he has unbelievable upside, but yes, he's doing it at a high level right now. So early, um, you know, any better than those guys, Antonio, that you just mentioned, you mentioned some guys that probably, yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, I think he's proven that he can be, but one of the best has ever do it.

And I think that's the question mark, right? That's the, that's the thing that he needs to maintain for, and I'm sure guys are telling, I'm sure the coaching staff are staying on it so you can do something very, very special. You can be better than Philip Rivers, right?

You can be better than you'll be. That's saying a whole bunch, you know, because what he's doing at an early age, it's just remarkable to watch. Um, it's a treat every time you get a chance of going so far, stay and watch him play.

It's definitely a treat to see. We'll talk about Captain Morgan in just a second, but there's been a lot of conversation about Brandon Staley and what his future is going to look like with the Chargers. A lot of people throwing out, maybe Sean Payton joining them next year. Just what's your reaction and all those rumors and conversations?

Oh man. Staley is great, man. Staley is doing great, man. I like him a lot. I like what he's done for the team.

And more importantly, what I look for is that people, um, I look for what, can he get the best out of his team? And you think about the injuries that the Chargers has dealt with this year, and yet he's in a position to still go to post season. Uh, you know, the people got to remember, you know, Derwin's been banged up here and there. J. C. Jackson went out, right? They paid him to come here to be the number one corner, you know, you know, so Joey Bosa still haven't, you know, we haven't had the guys that we were dependent on to leave this team be out there, but yet he's still in the driver's seat. That's nonsense.

You know, this lead, you know, and I think that's the people that's outside looking in. When you played in this league, you really understand the magnitude of how difficult it is to be in the position that he's in when you have a revolving door in terms of guys in and out. Joey and Khalil and Keenan and Mike and Derwin and J. C. Jackson, I don't even think they played one game. I'm not even sure if they even play the game together, you know, because Keenan got hurt week one, right?

J. C. Jackson didn't play week one. When he came back, he ended up getting hurt. Then Keenan came back, right? Mike was banged up. Now Keenan is back.

Now Joey still ain't, you know, Derwin was out last week, you know? So it's just when he get all the pieces together, you can get a set. But regardless of that, his coaching style and his coaches ability to be able to get the best and maximize the guys that's coming off the bench to roll. So what we would call role players, essentially, he's doing a great job. You know, I can't see nothing happening with him. You know, I would be shocked, to say the least, because what he's doing and we're still in a position to go to the postseason. So I can't see why anything, you know, short of him returning be an issue at this point. Tell me about the work you're doing with Captain Morgan and the NFL Fan of the Year contest.

Well, obviously, yeah. So this is a great deal, man. Now, you know, Captain Morgan and the NFL, they teaming up to come with a Fan of the Year. And I think it's important that we start using this platform to, you know, to say thank you to some of these fans. You got to think some of these guys are devoted to their team, they're respectively teams in their cities, and yet they're doing community work. We have a guy in Los Angeles that's great. I got a chance to meet him and he's been phenomenal to the community, phenomenal to our team, our team supported us over, you know, the last 10, six years, been in charge of fans since he was a kid.

But more importantly, getting that just due is the most important thing. And Captain Morgan is doing that, giving them a platform where people can appreciate our fans. Because when you think about it, as a player, your fans are your memories, right? The fans keep your memories going, your fans keep your legacy going. And these are diehard fans, you know, these are diehard fans to their respective teams. And now they're getting a chance to be on a good platform where they're getting exposure and saying, hey, I'm a Charger fan, or whatever team you're from.

So this is a great deal. And I really appreciate it as a player. Because those are things that gets us going to see the fans to see what they do. I hope that we just understand and they understand that they mean the same to us as players as we mean to them.

And we were very thankful for what they do for each and every city that they are doing it at. I know you got to run. Last question for you, Antonio Gates, who's the greatest tight end in NFL history? Oh, yeah, that's a good question. Well, man, you know, you know, I hate it. It's so many good ones, man.

To be perfectly honest with you, man. Everybody's hat there. I like to say the baton.

You know, you pass the baton like a 4x1 team, right? You know, Tony had it. He gave it to me.

I gave it to, you know, Travis. You know, he's had it. You know, Shannon Sharp has had it. I think Gronkowski's had it.

I think so many people who had it. I think we all understand we've met the same amount. We mean the same to each other. I mean to the Chargers, what he means to LeBron. Shannon Sharp means to Broncos. What Tony means to Kansas City.

What Gronk means to the Patriots. I think we've all understood what it's like to be in that number one spot, to have to go in and out every single week and perform. I like to think that I'm the best, you know, just from a competitive standpoint. Right. But I'm very respectful of what they've all done and what Travis is continuing to do now.

I still would say myself because that's just a competitive nature and me. But the reality of the situation is that these guys have been phenomenal. It's guys like Kellen Winslow Sr. who paved the way for all of us.

So, it's really no way. It's the generational. It's all generational. You know, I like to think at one point I had at the time, you know, I got it from Tony Gonzalez, right? He got it from Shannon Sharp. But Shannon got it from, you know, whoever.

Ozzy Newsome, Tony. You know, so it's a thing where we consider like a fraternity, right? It's like this is the group of guys who've changed the game. We paved the way and each and every guy has mean the significance to their team, to the position. I'm probably the only free agent, you know.

So, I like to think my degree of difficulty was more so complicated than the rest. But I've watched Gronkowski play. He's phenomenal. I watched Kelsey play. He's phenomenal. I watched, you know, Tony play.

He's phenomenal. You know, so it's just so it's so hard to say. From a competitive standpoint, I like to think my degree was, you know, more complicated than the rest. So, therefore, I would always say myself because I love to compete, you know. But I got a ton of respect for the rest of those guys, man. Well, I'm just gonna go out on a limb.

You have a valid argument to be at the head of the table potentially there as well. Antonio Gates, great to catch up with you. I always love your story and chatted up with you. Thanks so much for joining us on behalf of Captain Morgan. Thanks, man.

I appreciate it. Throughout the 60s and 70s, cops hunted down key figures of the Dixie Mafia, including its enigmatic ringleader, Kirksey Nix. 15 years into Kirksey's life sentence, the Dixie Mafia was practically folklore, but that would soon change. I'm Jed Lipinski. This is Gone South, a documentary podcast from C-13 Originals, a Cadence 13 studio. Season 2, the Dixie Mafia.

Available now on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. What makes your skin crawl? No matter how absurd, I want to know.

Tails without fur on them, such as rats or opossums. I'm Larry Mullins, the host of a new podcast called Your Weirdest Fears. You send me your fear. I'm just so weirded out about the texture and how they can just move around and flop. And then I go to the experts to learn how to overcome them.

Listen and subscribe to Your Weirdest Fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts from. Tis the season for giving. And what's better than giving more to everyone you love? With Celebrations Passport from, I can enjoy unlimited free shipping on everything from flowers to gourmet gifts across their entire family of brands, which means sharing more with the special people in my life, now and all throughout the year. Shop slash listen and share holiday joy today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-22 01:23:23 / 2022-12-22 01:31:30 / 8

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime