The history of the San Diego Chargers runs very deep. All though the team has failed to hoist that Lombardi Trophy, they still have a vast history of iconic players.
From Johnny Unitas to LaDainian Tomlinson, the history of great players has been quite evident to Chargers fans. No other position has produced more quality players for the Chargers than the tight end position. Antonio Gates and Kellen Winslow will go down as two of the top tight ends in the history of the game.
Winslow was the first hybrid tight end who would go into motion and get up off of the line. His style of tight end play is emulated by all modern offenses. His athleticism and catch passing ability grew the tight end position into a modern-day offensive position. The tall lanky Winslow was a nightmare to cover on defense.
Before Winslow the number one job of a tight end was to block. Nothing else was expected out of a tight end on your team. He was essentially another offensive lineman. Blocking was his only job.
Antonio Gates also changed the game of football. After not playing one snap of college football, Gates was signed by the Chargers after trying out for the team. Gates was a basketball player in college and being a power forward he knew how to receive the ball in tight spaces.
That training of constantly being fed a basketball low in the post transformed Gates into a football pass catching machine. He understood how to use his body to block out defenders and Gates immediately became every Chargers quarterbacks best friend.
Both are excellent human beings as well. Each has been very active in the community of San Diego. The San Diego Chargers are very fortunate to have two separate tight ends with these hall of fame credentials. Both Antonio Gates and Kellen Winslow are to be examined in this article as we take a look at their Chargers career. They both had similar success in the league despite playing decades apart.
Gates is still currently playing and holds many current Chargers records. While Winslow failed to total the numbers that Gates has amassed, he was obviously capable of it. Injuries sadly limited his potential and we can only imagine what a healthy Kellen Winslow could have produced in a lengthy NFL career. Gates has proved to be most durable and to this day has yet to speak about retirement. Hopefully like Winslow, Gates will retire only playing football for one team in his successful career. The San Diego Chargers.
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