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Antonio Gates says sideline tiff with Philip Rivers no big deal

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Frustration high in San Diego (3:21)

ESPN NFL Insider Louis Riddick discusses whether a public heated exchange between Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates is cause for concern, and whether the Chargers will be able to right the ship in 2015. (3:21)

SAN DIEGO – A steady diet of losing creates uncomfortable moments on the field.

That was certainly the case for San Diego Chargers veterans Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates.

With San Diego sitting at 2-8 and in the midst of a six-game losing streak, the longtime teammates were shown on TV having a heated discussion on the sidelines with the Chargers settling for a Josh Lambo 52-yard field goal after a failed third-down conversion early in the second quarter.

But Gates said the two have had similar discussions before that were not caught on video and remain close friends.

“Obviously things have been said that cameras didn’t catch before,” Gates said. “But for the most part, it’s all love. That’s my brother. It’s a guy I’ve been with in so many battles. He knows the love that I have for him, and I know the love that he has for me.

“So it was just a situation where it was the heat of the moment. He wants to make a play. He wants to win. I want to win. We’re not winning. And the frustration, with countless hours of practice and studying that’s put into this, sometimes it boils over to the game.”

Added Rivers: “What was said really doesn't matter. Brothers fuss and fight, for any of you that have brothers. I love Antonio, and I think he will tell you the same thing.”

Gates said the argument stemmed from a miscommunication on the field.

“We communicated on something, and he seen it one way and I saw it the other way,” Gates said. “So for the most part it all came down to us wanting to win collectively. It’s something we haven’t thought twice about since it happened. It was like something where you see your brothers fighting, and then the next thing we’re talking together in the locker room longer than anybody.”

So if Rivers and Gates got in a fight in the alley, who would win?

“I’m the big brother,” Gates said, smiling.