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

TIPS: How to take great photos during 'Manhattanhenge'

Grab your camera and make the perfect picture this Saturday.

National

Seinfeld emoji cound be available next week

Get your puffy shirts and your marble rye ready, America. Seinfeld emoji could become available as early as next week.

Local

MAP: New York City street closures July 11,…

A block party in Times Square, Bastille Day celebrations and a festival will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend.

Local

Thousands come to pay respects to fallen NYC…

Thousands turned out to say farewell to fallen firefighter Gordon Ambelas at St. Clare’s Church in Staten Island this morning.

Movies

Interview: Matt Reeves on directing 'Dawn of the…

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" director Matt Reeves discusses his love for the franchise, working with actors as apes and the weight of 3-D cameras.

Television

Final season of 'Glee' will be only 13…

The final season of "Glee" will officially be only 13 episodes, instead of the usual 22.

Entertainment

Complex characters, juicy scripts boost Netflix's Emmy nominations

The unconventional approach to TV at Netflix netted 31 Emmy nominations, a major achievement after plunging into original programing just last year.

Entertainment

Actor Josh Duhamel dons bunny suit to encourage…

The former Transformers star and husband to singer Fergie took to the Venice Beach boardwalk in California in a bright pink, Christmas-story inspired bunny suit Wednesday to help spread the…

NFL

Which Jets player has the best odds at…

Metro New York asked Bovada.LV to rank the top three contenders for the NFL MVP on the Jets.

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.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: Sexual headaches can be…

Sexual headaches: an under-discussed health issue Location: U.S. Results: If getting frisky brings on a headache, you’re not alone. Headaches associated with sexual activity represent a…

Food

Head to FiDi for free Chia Pods from…

They may have been last summer's darlings, but chia seeds have definitely not gone out of style. A great source of omega-3 fatty acids, they…

Wellbeing

Stop thinking your diabetes risk begins above a…

When it comes to diabetes research, a new study says black and Asian adults may be at risk for developing diabetes at a lower weight…

Food

Christian Siriano inspires Magnum's color-blocked dessert

Christian Siriano, chef Andrew Carmellini and Magnum team up to create "America's Most Fashionable Chocolate Dessert."