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Chargers second year wide receiver is thankful for veteran Antonio Gates

allenWhen young players come into the NFL it is hard for them to get accustomed to the NFL ways. It always makes it easier when you have a veteran to take you under his wing.  The San Diego Chargers really put a lot of weight on Keenan Allen the former 2013 NFL Draft Pick because he had an impressive rookie year.  The team relies on their veterans to show him the way, and one player that has become a mentor to Allen is Antonio Gates.  This week Allen wrote this piece about his teammates assisting him, but said Antonio Gates has become a major mentor in his development.

We’re getting ready for a big week right now.  We’ve got an important game against the Dolphins, and it should be fun.  It is a good atmosphere in Miami and it will be some good competition. Last week was a tough loss but we still have confidence.  We just have to take it as a loss and get better.  It’s something we’re going to grow on.

I’ve had a productive year, but it felt good to finally get in the end zone for the first time.  It was exciting and definitely motivates me.  It came at a good time too. I’ve gotten a lot of good advice this year, but my favorite was “Don’t Be Satisfied.”  Coach Milo told me that and I really took it to heart.

The biggest difference between year two from year one for me is that it is more difficult than last year.  That’s just the way defenses are playing me with different coverages.  I’ve just got to get open more. The good news is we have a great group of receivers that are doing well when I get that extra coverage.  Malcom and Eddie, plus Antonio and the tight ends, they are all doing a great job.  We have an unselfish group.  They are all capable of making plays.  We are all happy for each other and just want to win so we have to keep it going.

Speaking of Gates, I couldn’t ask for a better mentor than him. He means a lot to me. Seeing what he is accomplishing is big.  Not just for the team, but the kind of guy he is and what he means to me, it is big.  He puts in so much hard work day in and day out and cares a lot. 

One thing I will never take for granted is you, the fans.  The support you give me and the team is big, especially at home.  You do a great job with that so please just keep it going.   So thank you for that, keep rallying with us and we’ll do great things together.

This is how great players are made, look at Steve Young, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.  All of them had very good mentors in the NFL.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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