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Gates works to lose weight for opener

Veteran tight end aiming for longevity by staying in better shape. Terry McCormick

Print This June 13, 2012, 10:50 AM EST

Antonio Gates says he wants to play longer and that means playing lighter.

Gates tells the San Diego Union-Tribune that he recognizes the importance of staying in better condition as he gets older in order to continue to play at a high level.

"I've always felt deeply that as you get older, you have to lose a little weight," said Gates, who will soon be 32. "I've always played at 260 (pounds). I felt like this year, I can play at 255 ... That's just the key. When I watch guys who have longevity and played for 15, 16 years, one thing I continuously hear is guys maintaining health, maintaining weight. They control their weight."

Gates, currently around 258 pounds, said when he was younger he could always lose whatever extra weight he might have been carrying during the rigors of training camp. But now he is making a conscious effort by altering his diet and doing it the right way.

It's got to be a good weight, too," Gates said. "I don't want to walk around and feel like I don't have power, or fatigue sets in because you've lost too much weight.

"I see these commercials of people who lose 10 pounds in one day and all this crazy stuff. I ain't on that plan. I'm at one pound a week where when I eat, I'm still at a good weight. I don't want to be 255 on weigh-in day and then eat a sandwich and be back to 263."

Follow me on Twitter @TerryMc13

Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com

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