Sports Out West

Chargers minicamp 2013: Mike McCoy praises Antonio Gates

McCoy Minicamp

San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates will hit a new milestone in his career in the 2013 season — he will play his 10th year as tight end for the team.

Although head coach Mike McCoy hasn’t had the chance to work extensively with the 32-year-old veteran, he has seen enough to acknowledge what separates Gates from other players at his position.

“He really has a knack for creating separation,” said McCoy at the podium during the Chargers minicamp on Thursday. “He’s got great awareness of being able to go on a three-and-post snap read of what the secondary is doing and what adjustments they make.”

The former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator has been pleased with the plays quarterback Phillip Rivers and Gates have showcased during the minicamp.

“Him and [Rivers] can go out there blind-folded and complete balls together,” McCoy commented. “That’s the great thing out of practice, they are always communicating with each other. Even if it’s a completion, they are always looking to improve something.”

Rivers has been a Charger for nine years and has developed a partnership with Gates that stands out as one of the greatest in team history. Gates himself is on pace to have the second-most touchdowns for the club, and with McCoy’s specialization in designing offense, he could accomplish that without issue in 2013.

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Eldrick Bone

Eldrick Bone was born and raised in Los Angeles and has devoted his professional life to revolve around sports. A journalism graduate of California State University, Northridge, Eldrick served as a sports writer, reporter and anchor for the school’s broadcast news program, Valley View News. He was previously the host of the sports radio show, In the Sports Booth on SkidRow studios.