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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
Rosario Steps Up in Big Way
It’s not shocking to hear that a San Diego tight end recorded three touchdown catches in a single game.
The fact that it was Dante Rosario and not All-Pro Antonio Gates; well, that certainly is surprising.
The Chargers needed their back up tight end to step up with Gates missing the game with a rib injury, and the sixth-year veteran came through in a massive way. Rosario caught two touchdowns in the first quarter and added a third for good measure in the second half as the Chargers routed the Tennessee Titans, 38-10.
“You never know what’s possible,” said Rosario, who admitted that never in his wildest dreams could he have imagined recording three touchdown catches. “I work hard every day to prepare for anything. Gates was a last second decision for today, so it wasn’t even a sure thing that I would get the number of reps that I did. I just tried to make the most of the opportunity, and I have a bunch of great guys around me that allowed me to do that.”
Rosario was also quick to give credit to his quarterback, Philip Rivers.
“All three of the touchdowns he threw me today, the ball was in perfect location,” he said. “What he’s doing in the back, he’s probably looking people off but as soon as I get my head around, I’m looking for the ball. All three of those passes were in places where the defender couldn’t get it. “
In turn, Rivers had glowing things to say about his tight end.
“He’s an easy guy to throw to,” he said. “He’s real smooth and just catches the ball naturally. He’s an easy guy to get the ball to.”
Also impressed by Rosario’s big day was the man he replaced.
“When we initially brought him in, we had a strong idea of what he brought to the table,” said Gates. “All through training camp you got an idea of what he brings to the table. He’s a guy that can definitely make a lot of plays in the passing game and it showed. All his hard work and the things he did this offseason paid off. And he still has some chance to grow, which is a scary thing. He’s getting the chance to do new things at his position that he was never asked to do in Carolina and Denver.”
Chances are after the performance he put forth on Sunday, Rosario’s likely to get a few more balls thrown his way in the future, even when Gates returns.