Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez getting better with age

Tony Gonzalez touchdown
Tony Gonzalez was a nightmare for the Patriots last week.
Credit: Getty Images

Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez is primed for one of the best seasons of his career in his 17th season in the league.

His 23 receptions, 242 yards and three touchdowns this season bear witness to his staying power.

Jets head coach Rex Ryan joked last week, “I wish he had retired.” But Gonzalez’s decision to play one more season gives them another legitimate threat on their offense.

“It’s always huge for us, first and foremost when you add a great player to your team, it makes you better,” Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said. “But beyond that, his personality in the locker room, his leadership, for young guys to see what it takes to be one of the best. I think that’s huge for us. Seems to be getting better the longer he plays.”

A week ago in a loss to the Patriots, he had 12 catches for 149 yards with two touchdowns. He is a reliable route runner with good hands. But beyond that, he’s a playmaker.

When Gonzalez came into the league in 1997, the tight end position was a block-heavy role, with a role in the passing game being very limited. But Gonzalez changed things and made the position one that is now a match-up problem for linebackers and safeties. His long, muscular frame is still an issue to this day and his ability to make tough catches and yards after contact are still reminiscent of a wide receiver.

Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman said Gonzalez is “the best pass-catching tight end in the history of the game.” The Jets linebackers will be charged with the responsibility of trying to contain him on Monday night.

“It’s hard, because even when he’s covered, he’s not covered. He can have guys draped all over him and he can still pluck the ball out of the air,” linebacker Garrett McIntyre told Metro. “He’s a savvy veteran. He can make plays. To say that there is one thing you can do against him to stop him — [you] can’t say that. You’ve got be at your best.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Hillary Clinton headed to Boston for women's leadership…

Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to visit Massachusetts Wednesday amid continuing speculation about making another bid for the presidency in 2016.

Local

The Boston Marathon: Step by step, the race…

For over a century, the Boston Marathon has been an event centered around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there’s no denying the face of the renowned race has been changed…

Local

Boston Marathon: Marathoners ready to run, honor victims

Scores of runners will cross the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton Monday and embark on a 26.2-mile journey to Boston in honor of the victims.

Local

MIT student, Rhodes scholar, dies

Eliana Hechter, a student at MIT and Harvard, died, her family said. The announcement was posted on MIT's website.

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

The Word

Miley Cyrus cancels more dates, tweeting from hospital

Miley Cyrus is reportedly so sick that she's had to postpone more tour dates. We know this because she has been sitting in a hospital…

Music

Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.