"It was probably my fifth game of my rookie year – obviously throughout training camp was a struggle for myself," Gates said of when he believed he could become a football player. "I had different things I had to learn, but as I learned them and the game became slower, I always had the fit of a tight end and that was something you couldn't take away from me. It was a situation where I got into trusting one another – the players' trust in me and I trusted what the coaches were teaching and at that point, I immediately looked forward and tried to do the things necessary to become a better football player."
Gates also has his sights set on the overall team record of 14 touchdown catches in a season, which is shared by wide receivers Tony Martin (1996) and Lance Alworth (1965).
"This is a crazy road for me," added Gates. "This was unexpected. I am just going with the flow – I am here and I am trying to make the best of it."
LT moved into eighth place on the All-Time Chargers' receiving list on Sunday. He tied Tony Martin's 288 receptions on the opening drive of the first quarter and moved into sole possession of eighth place when he caught the 74 yard pass from Drew Brees in the first quarter. Wes Chandler is next on the list with 373.
Tomlinson's 74-yard score in the first quarter gave him a touchdown in 12 straight games. That is now one shy of the NFL record, thirteen, shared by John Riggins and George Rogers.
"It was a zone coverage," he said. "The linebacker was running outside but was supposed to be sticking me. I thought the safety would be coming on fast. I saw he was too far back and I knew it was one-on-one with me."
Tomlinson became the first player in NFL history to get a rushing touchdown in 12-straight games, in the same season. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Tomlinson scored from 16 yards out to get the record, breaking the mark set by Priest Holmes and Emmitt Smith.
"I think on it after the season," Tomlinson said. "There have been a lot of backs coming into this league – it is a great accomplishment."
Tomlinson is aiming to become just the second player in team history to lead the NFL in touchdowns, joining Chuck Muncie, who led the league with 19 in 1981. Shaun Alexander, with three touchdowns on Sunday and 19 on the year, leads Tomlinson by one.
L.T. needs 216 yards from scrimmage to reach 2,000 for the third straight year. Against the Colts, Tomlinson had 81 yards rushing and 95 yards receiving.
The Chargers have three seventy-yard plus pass plays this year, all going to different receivers and all coming in the last three games.