Post-Up, Get Open
Everyone knows the story of Antonio Gates: A former basketball player who joined the Chargers in 2003 as an undrafted rookie free agent and is now one touchdown away from setting the all-time record for TDs by a TE.
But, Dan Woike of the LA Times dove in deeper – with help from Philip Rivers and Drew Brees – to discover how Gates' basketball background helped pave the way for how he's become one of the most prolific tight ends in NFL history:
Brees, who threw 23 of those touchdowns to Gates, saw him at his rawest during his rookie season and remembers how he'd drive coaches crazy with his instincts — most of which came from his first love of basketball.
"He said at one point it clicked for him — he was going to play tight end like he played basketball, posting up and the same type of moves. The way he'd get open on the court is the way he'd get open as a tight end," Brees said. "In the beginning, it was really kind of revolutionary. Nobody was doing that; no one was really teaching that. When he'd do it in practice, he'd get yelled at.
"And, now he's the standard."
A 53-man roster is rarely the same week to week. ESPN's Eric Williams shared how GM Tom Telesco admits it's a fluid process, as he and the staff are always looking for ways to improve the team.
The AP's Greg Beacham discussed how Philip Rivers believes his team can be winners this season.