Along with future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson, the cornerstones of this era of San Diego Chargers football have been the quarterback/tight end duo of Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates. Since Rivers became the team’s starting QB in 2006, the North Carolina State alum has averaged 27 TD passes per season, with Gates averaging 67 catches and 9 TD’s, during that exact same period of time.
In should be noted that Gates’ best statistical seasons came while catching spirals from now Saints icon Drew Brees (during ’04 & ’05 seasons). Over that two-year sample set, Gates caught 81 and 89 balls respectively, while averaging 12 TD’s.
Rivers and Gates have combined to appear in 12 Pro Bowls (Rivers – four, Gates – eight), but have yet to appear in a Super Bowl, despite their domination of the AFC West from 2006-2009. Many of the core pieces of the four-straight division championship teams are gone, with Rivers and Gates now serving among the team’s elder statesmen.
Without question, these men remain the most recognized and revered members at Chargers training camp. The dynamic pair received the biggest cheers from the many fans in attendance, and it wasn’t even close.
Above is iFolloSports.com original video of Rivers completing a touchdown pass to Gates, during an afternoon drill at Monday’s training camp activity.
The video then shows tight end Dante Rosario running into the end zone, followed by LSU rookie QB Jarrett Lee throwing a TD pass to tight end Brad Taylor.
The Chargers practice at Chargers Park, three miles north of Qualcomm Stadium, the team’s 45-year-old home field.
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