Gates "Always Attacking The Ball"

Chargers Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer had plenty of praise for his tight end, Antonio Gates during his media conference call this week. And he also talked about QB Drew Brees, Tony Dungy, and the Colts' perfect record.

(on how much TE-Antonio Gates means to the offense)
"He's obviously our leading receiver right now. He does a terrific job, I think, in creating matchup problems when you have a tight end like him complemented by our passing game and then you add a player like LaDainian (Tomlinson) to the mix, I think the matchups become significant in many games. Some opponents, it's not that significant because they're not in man to man that much, but he's done a terrific job for us. People ask, ‘Did you have any idea he would be that good?' My response has always been, ‘If we had known he was going to be that good, we would have picked him No.1 instead of signing him as a free agent.' So, he's exceeded our expectations."

(on TE-Antonio Gates being ‘uncoverable')
"What he does is, his basketball background has enabled him to get his body in positions where the guy that's trying to get the ball has a difficult time getting through him. They generally don't have the same size that he has and, of course, he has extremely strong hands and like any good rebounder, he'll always attack the ball. He's never waiting for the ball to come to him. He's always attacking the ball."

(on if it feels like the Chargers have been playing must-win games all year long)
"I've never really looked at it that way. I don't think our football team has. What we've done is played a bunch of very close, competitive games and haven't won as many of those as we'd like. I haven't felt that they're must-win games, because at this point, I have a difficult time imagining all of the scenarios. We tend to approach it one week at a time. We obviously feel that this one this week is going to be extremely important to us. Worst case scenario, if we were to lose, I don't know what that means. I don't know that that eliminates us. There's just so many variables that are a part, but I think that for me to spend time trying to figure them all out would be not the best use of my time. We play every week and we'll play every week until they tell us whether we're in or not in."

(on how he would look at QB-Drew Brees' season)
"I think he's done a very, very good job for us. Our offense has been able to achieve a considerable number of things this year. We've done a good job in a number of areas. Our third downs are good, our red zone has been very, very good, so I'm very pleased with that. The only area that he is not as good as he was a year ago is we've had a few more interceptions, but there's a number of factors that enter into an interception and it's not always just the throw."

(on if he can step back and admire the Colts 13-0 start)
"Absolutely. The ways in which they've won, it's not like they've been in a bunch of barn-burners. They've pretty much controlled the tempo of the game, and they do such a great job on defense. They're an outstanding football team. When you look at perfect, which is what they are, and then you look at the guy that kind of orchestrates it (Peyton Manning), I would have to say it (the MVP) would be Peyton."

(on his relationship with Tony Dungy in Kansas City and what he saw in Dungy at that time (1989-91)
"It was obvious he was extremely bright. He had a great rapport with his players, which is obviously an ongoing process as he's become a head coach, a terrific communicator, not withstanding the outward appearance, his demeanor. There's a fire that burns deep inside of him. Nobody ever knows with a certainty when the guy becomes a head coach of how he will do because there are so many circumstances that affect that, but I thought he had a great opportunity and he's certainly done that."


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