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Gonzalez May Be Asked To Block More, Catch Less

When the Atlanta Falcons acquired prolific tight end Tony Gonzalez during the offseason, the immediate assumption around the league was that they planned to heavily feature the 10-time Pro Bowl selection in the passing game.

However, Atlanta offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey made it clear during an interview with the team’s official Web site that Gonzalez is also going to be utilized quite a bit as a blocking presence in the Falcons’ run-oriented offense.

“Tony will help our offense in a number of ways,” Mularkey said.  “One thing he’s going to do is that he’s a productive blocker and that’s important in our offense. . . . As successful as he’s been as a receiver, he’s a good blocker too and he really doesn’t get the credit that he should.”

Gonzalez holds the NFL’s tight end records with 916 career catches, 10,940 receiving yards and 76 touchdown catches.

And he’s one season removed from another ultra-productive season where he hauled in 93 receptions for 1,058 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Glad to be out of Kansas City and now playing for a team that reached the playoffs last season, Gonzalez doesn’t seem to mind that his personal statistics might decline in Atlanta.

At this stage of his career, Gonzalez will bypass the glittery numbers for a chance to contend. Gonzalez has never won a playoff game, so he’s willing to make a sacrifice.

“Do I think I’ll catch 100 balls? I don’t have to,” Gonzalez said. “This is something we’re all going to work together on. I’ve been fortunate to have such a good career.

“It’s not about breaking records and all that stuff. It’s about going out there and moving those chains.”

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8 Responses to “Gonzalez May Be Asked To Block More, Catch Less”
  1. dlcreed44 says: Jul 7, 2009 9:14 PM

    Very smart thinking by Mularkey. Doesn’t mean Gonzalez won’t break off a block and go straight up the middle. Its all about multiple options in the offense. More targets for the offense the better.

  2. WoPhat says: Jul 7, 2009 9:33 PM

    Where the heck does that headline come from? The article says he can do both, but don’t force a story line that doesn’t exist.

  3. Azinine says: Jul 7, 2009 9:48 PM

    dlcreed44 said it.

  4. SaintsBucsPanthersSUKK says: Jul 7, 2009 10:40 PM

    That first guy is right. Multiple options are better. Last years starting TE, Ben Hartsock, is a fine blocker but if not for late summer acquisition Justin Peelle the Falcons wouldn’t even have had the 19 catches total for all the TE’s last season. Less than 7% of the passes thrown last year were intended for a TE, but that number will rise greatly with Gonzo and open things up for Pro-Bowler Roddy White (who’ll be getting more $$$ soon enough), 6’4″ Michael Jenkins who was extended during last season, and speedy slot receiver Harry Douglas, the rookie phenom. Speedy RB Jerious Norwood is a pass catching threat, too, and has played a bit of wide receiver.
    The Falcons were rumored along with the Bills to have offered up the 2nd round pick the Chiefs wanted for Tony G. during last seasons trade deadline, but Gonzalez nixed them. The Falcons let bygones be bygones and gave up their 2010 2nd rounder. I’m sure it will be money well spent.
    PIHSNOIPMAHC

  5. ButchD says: Jul 8, 2009 12:33 AM

    thats a smokescreen. they’re going to throw to him. dead giveaway is that he can block well. if he said something like we’re going to work on some of his techniques because we want him to block more then maybe. but saying he is a good blocker is a load of crap. so the whole thing is bull.

  6. bbq says: Jul 8, 2009 3:07 AM

    WoPhat:
    This is not creating a story where there is not one. It’s apparent from these comments that Gonzalez will likely be used much less in the passing game than he has been during his career with the Chiefs.
    ButchD:
    Actually, smart guy, Tony Gonzalez is a VERY good blocker. I’m a Chiefs fan and I’ve watched him for years. Also, ask anyone who knows what the hell their talking about as far as player analysis goes and they’ll tell you that. His blocking skills are simply overshadowed by his prowess as a receiver.
    Basically, you’re an idiot.

  7. southernboi727 says: Jul 8, 2009 3:44 AM

    I call bulls**t.

  8. SaintsBucsPanthersSUKK says: Jul 8, 2009 9:57 AM

    I call championship.

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