Total Access The Locker Room Podcast: Antonio Gates relives a unique career in the NFL

Former Chargers tight end and eight-time Pro Bowler Antonio Gates joins Michael Robinson and Brian Billick on today's episode. Antonio starts things off at the end as he tells the real reason he decided to retire (1:30). Then it's back to the beginning when Gates tells Coach Billick how he was just hoping to make the practice squad his rookie season (4:06), and then used that experience as motivation throughout his career. MRob asks Antonio how he made the transition from college basketball to professional football (7:28), and finds out it had a lot to do with Gates not wanting to go home. Antonio weighs in on the evolution of the tight end (11:40), talks about "Antonio Gates Time", plus how his basketball crossover move found its way into his route running… and then into the rest of the NFL (16:07). Billick admits that as a head coach he wasn't worried about LaDainian Tomlinson when he played the Chargers, it was Antonio Gates on 3rd down and inside the 20-yard line (17:03). Which current tight end adds the most to his team (17:54)? Antonio's answer might surprise you. Gates tells MRob why it was the no-name defender, not the big name, that was always the toughest to play (19:30). Gates played with some of the best quarterbacks ever and talks about the transition from Drew Brees to Philip Rivers (24:42), before telling how he used to get Philip going… "Drew would have thrown it to me." Finally, Antonio talks about the type of player LT was as a teammate and a man (28:52).

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