Atlanta Falcons Training Camp Profile: Tony Gonzalez

By Thomas Emerick
Tony Gonzalez
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Gonzalez has smashed every career tight-end receiving record known to man and played the position better than anyone at the mind-boggling age of 36 last season, recording a team-high 93 catches for 930 yards and eight touchdowns. Gonzo would’ve gone out on top in every respect of the word except for that elusive Super Bowl title.

This is pure speculation, but perhaps Gonzalez has a taste for more after earning his first playoff win in the wild divisional-round triumph over the Seattle Seahawks, in which his key catch during the final seconds help set the Atlanta Falcons up for the game-winning field goal. Maybe it’s even images of last season’s final moment dancing in his head, when Gonzalez streaked wide open in the end-zone during the NFC title’s deciding play but Matt Ryan, saddled by an injured shoulder, went to a covered Roddy White just as Gonzo broke free on fourth down.

Either way, Gonzalez is back — well sort of — as the Falcons’ wisely gave him this past week off from camp. The vet will return soon to battle for his 14th Pro Bowl invitation and perhaps his first Super Bowl. Atlanta is, after all, the NFC’s defending top-seed.

Gonzalez points to his son in his decision to come back and I’m sure that was the final executive decision, but I doubt Gonzo would’ve taken all that time this offseason before jumping back in if he thought he’d lost it.

“Really the biggest factor for me to come back this year was my son, Nikko. He doesn’t live with me, he lives with his mom and stepdad out in Los Angeles during the football season, and it’s been that way his whole life. And I just said, ‘You know what, I want to spend more time with my son.’ And that was really one of the main reasons I was going to retire,” Gonzalez told ESPN. “But he was the one who talked me back into it.”

Hey, if you’re still getting it done.

Thomas Emerick is a Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter @ThomasEmerick, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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