Clyde Gates worked hard in offseason to play role for Jets

Clyde Gates is developing as a wide receiver in the NFL. Credit: Getty Images
Clyde Gates is developing as a wide receiver in the NFL.
Credit: Getty Images

Clyde Gates got better this offseason by matching his skills against shadows and thin air.

There is still a learning curve for Gates, who originally went to college to play basketball but eventually ended up at Abilene Christian where he transitioned to football, a sport he had never played before. He is admittedly raw, but Gates, cut by the Dolphins last offseason, is looking like a far more polished player this year. He was the talk of training camp at the wide receiver position and in the preseason opener at the Lions had three catches for 39 yards.

Gates has drawn praise for his improved route running, a glaring weakness that drew criticism from the media last year. In fact, a poor route he ran last year in Week 3 at the Dolphins led to an interception.

“Mainly that’s what I did, I conditioned and ran routes. I took the coaching from [wide receiver coach] Sanjay Lal from his coaching points and try to put it into my game in the offseason. Anything he said I need to work on I just tried to master it. My route running was and still is kind of my knock. But I don’t feel that way. Coaches tell me, ‘Do this better, do that better,’ and I feel that I don’t want to have them tell me that more than once because I’m a grown man and I need to take care of that. [I am] just trying to master every route on the route tree,” Gates told Metro. “I wasn’t going up against anybody, I was going against the air. I didn’t have the defense to go against as I was working out with my friends and trainers. What would I do if he was there? What would I do against this coverage? That’s what I worked on.”

During the offseason, Gates worked out at D1 Sports in Abilene, Texas with David Hess, his old strength and conditioning coach in college. Four times a week as part of his three-hour workouts at the facility, Gates would work specifically on his routes.

He spent afternoons and evenings in front of his laptop on — of all things — YouTube in an effort to get better.

“[I] YouTubed a lot of Chad Ochocinco, a lot of Jerry Rice, a lot of Terrell Owens. My main player was Chad Ochocinco. I like the way he runs his routes,” Gates said. “I’m also a visual learner and I can see it and go out there and do it. I’d picture a look from a defensive back and go out there and try to do it — just like I saw on the video.”

The end result is a player who looks likely to play a more significant part in the offense this year. Last year, he was a training camp cut by the Dolphins who was picked up by then Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano as a stop-gap for an injury-depleted wide receiving corps.

He’s not a quick fix anymore, drawing praise from head coach Rex Ryan and quarterback Mark Sanchez in recent weeks.

“Last year I had a late start, [and] was playing catch-up. I did have a training camp, [but] it wasn’t here. I was familiar with the offense but all year I was playing catch-up. This year with offseason and training camp, I felt like I was where I needed to be. Trying to stay healthy and stay on top of my health and do what I can do — be on top of things and not be too comfortable. When you get too comfortable, that’s when you stop moving forward,” Gates said.

“I’m just the type of guy that wants to come out every day and prove to myself that I can do this, that I can do that and build my confidence up.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

PHOTOS: Who is Alix Tichelman?

Who is Alix Tichelman, the high end call girl who allegedly murdered a Google executive?

National

Washington state approves first producer of pot edibles

  A Seattle-based company that makes marijuana-infused drinks and candies has become the first business in Washington approved to make edible pot products for the…

National

Florida cat owners call 911 after Russian blue…

By Barbara ListonORLANDO Florida (Reuters) - Kush the cat was quarantined in central Florida after her owner called 911 over the weekend for help, saying…

Local

Times Square costumed characters under scrutiny

Costumed characters in Times Square are under scrutiny after a string of incidents involving Elmo, Woody, Mario and Spider-Man.

Going Out

What to do this week in NYC: July…

Le Fooding Beach Club Presents: San Pellegrino Fruitstock at the Rockaways Friday-Sunday, Noon; $40 Beach 97 97-01 Shorefront Pkwy., Rockaway Beach Picnic on the beach…

Going Out

Where to eat on Bastille Day in NYC

We had ours on the Fourth of July, now it’s time for France’s equivalent on July 14. Go out and show your solidarity with the…

Books

What to eat while you read

A smudge of chocolate on a page never hurt anyone.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, July 9: 'The Bridge,'…

See Diane Kruger solve some mysteries in the second season premiere of "The Bridge."

World Cup

Argentina prevails in penalties, advances to final

The drama never seems to subside as the World Cup finally has its final two.

MLB

A Joffrey Ballet dancer threw the most beautiful…

http://youtu.be/Hg61JOZJrYM?t=29s While asked to throw a first pitch at a baseball game can be a treacherous and/or embarrassing experience (see Cent, 50), sometimes everything can…

World Cup

World Cup semifinals preview: Holland vs. Argentina

The second semifinal pits another South American soccer power against a European one.

MLB

MLB power rankings: Athletics cement spot on top,…

The Athletics cement spot on top of our MLB power rankings with a huge trade, while L.A. teams follow.

Travel

Amsterdam is known for sex and drugs, but…

Amsterdam is arguably best known for its red light district and cannabis coffee shops, but the city on the banks of the Amstel River is…

Wellbeing

What eye symptoms need emergency attention?

Many people experience temporary eye-related problems such as pink eye (conjunctivitis) from a cold virus or a scratched cornea resulting from an object coming into…

Wellbeing

Sugar isn't making anyone's life more sweet

Not so sweet. Anne Alexander, author of “The Sugar Smart Diet,” tells us where sugar is hiding and how it’s making us sick. Bet that…

Wellbeing

This will take more years off your life…

  Obesity can cut life short by causing strokes and other illnesses, but a new study quantifies the toll: The most extreme cases cut a…