Dec 2, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (85) catches a first down pass while defended by Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) during the first quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Happy 33rd Birthday Antonio Gates

Happy Birthday shout outs to San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates. Gates turned 33 years young today. He has been beating double teams and making big time plays for a long time. Hopefully he can get back to that Pro Bowl level this season.

He is getting up there in football years, but many observers still believe that he is athletic and fast. He looks fast in practice.

He will get a huge opportunity this year to make big things happen. The Chargers have more options in the passing game that could free up Antonio to make more plays on offense. Philip Rivers should have a little more time to throw the football with new linemen giving him protection. He should have a better year.

Sure I have called him overrated for the last couple of seasons. Sure I have called him old and questioned if he could get back to that next level. This is a big year for him. I want to see that impact player that he used to be.

He is an exceptional talent.  He’s 33 years old now and won’t be playing this game much longer. He has a few more years to get those championship titles with the Chargers. Philip Rivers and company better step their games up soon and get those rings  for one of the best tight ends to ever play this game.

Now that would be a good birthday gift!

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