Atlanta Falcons: Who Will Back Up Tony Gonzalez in 2013?

By Leigh Allen
Atlanta Falcons Tony Gonzalez Backup
Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Tight end extraordinaire Tony Gonzalez has agreed to come back for one final year in the Atlanta Falcons’ quest for the ever-elusive Super Bowl victory.

The question now is who will win the number two spot? Now that Tommy Gallarda is no longer in the picture, the immediate battle is down to two competitors.

On one hand, there’s Chase Coffman. At 6 feet, 6 inches and 250 pounds, Coffman definitely has experience on his side. He’s been bounced from the Cincinnati Bengals to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in his career, but he’s settling in well with the Falcons and is ready to take the next step. Coffman has definitely been a standout in training camp so far and at the Friday Night Lights event, and continues to impress head coach Mike Smith as well. His experience and knowledge are coming together well on the field.

On the other hand, there’s Levine Toilolo. At 6 feet, 8 inches and 265 pounds, he’s a viable candidate for the number two spot. However, Toilolo is still a rookie…and that is in fairly strong evidence on the field. After missing OTAs, he came in at a disadvantage in the June minicamp also. Not to say that he won’t be able to catch up and catch on; his performance has already shown marked improvement from the minicamp to training camp. That being said, time and experience are needed for Toilolo to be able to live up to his full potential.

So who will win the number two spot?

At this point, all signs point to Coffman making the move to number two. But keep an eye on Toilolo because come next year, he may just surprise everyone.


Leigh Allen is an NFL writer for Follow her on Twitter, on Facebook, and on Google+.

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