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Gates had the highest peak of any TE I've ever seen. After that it was close between Sharpe and Gonzo. Sharpe was more vertically explosive, but Tony G was a better end zone weapon and much better in jump ball situations. As receivers they were neck and neck. Gonzo was the better all around player, though, obviously.
And anyone who says that he (Gonzalez) was a "good" blocker is out of their minds. He was passable. Not a KII or Jay Novacek who could only ever get in somebodies way at best, but certainly not a "plus" blocker. That's revisionist history.
Originally posted by 21ST
He was protecting his self
Originally posted by tjsunstein
From what? His leg?
Originally posted by Paranoidmoonduck
That leg has had it out for him since day 1.
"We're the quiet guys, the guys before the storm. And then we hit you."
Shannon Sharpe was like a wide receiver out there, in his prime for Denver. I saw him with my own eyes at Green Bay in about 1993. Remember, he had John Elway there too, one of the GOAT.
I remember wanting Shannon coming out of tiny Savannah State. I had a 2nd round grade on him and remember watching him in one of the all-star games, maybe the Blue-Grey, and they thought he'd be a 2nd round pick as well.
When he slid so far and we didn't take him, I was pissed. Remember we had Sterling in his prime right there, thought that would be great.
Still, Tony was almost unstoppable. He was fast, and had great hands, timing, true basketball player. He'd out-rebound everyone, and he did. And his QB's were ******** all the way thru.
Gates is great too, no doubt. But having Drew Brees and Philip Rivers sure can make a guy look better than guys like Brodie Croyle and Tyler Thigpen.
Oh, and LT all those years being the defense's #1 focused tended to open things up a bit for Gates as well. I just think Gonzalez was the best.