The Chargers face the winless Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday and are heavily favoured to win the game, but Gates is adamant that they should not have that attitude.
"At the end of the day, everybody is a professional athlete, and everybody gets paid," Gates told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
"If you take a team lightly, just look at this way: every team's got guys that can beat you, in every phase.
"Whether you hear a lot about them on ESPN or not, they're going through the steps you're going through. They're getting ready to play a game."
The Chargers are 3-3 in their season going into week seven.