Gonzalez unhappy with how his Ryan comments were portrayed


When retired Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez described quarterback Matt Ryan as excellent but not elite, the “not elite” portion of that quote got a lot more attention than the “excellent” part. Gonzalez wasn’t happy about that.

Gonzalez told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that although he had no problem with the original ESPN Magazine story in which his comments appeared, he did have a problem with how ESPN and NFL Network took a partial quote and ran with it.

“There was no firestorm,” Gonzalez said. “They pulled quotes from that article a couple of days before it came out, so now you’re not getting the whole story. ESPN was biased about it and so was the NFL Network. I saw the ticker where it said, ‘Tony calls out his former quarterback’ or whatever. Which is ridiculous.”

Gonzalez says he respects Ryan professionally and considers him a good friend and sees no reason for anyone to suggest otherwise.

“Matt and I are going on two vacations together,” Gonzalez said. “Me and his wife and my wife, we go out to dinner all of the time. Why would I call the guy out, who made the last five years of my career great? Why would I call him out? I didn’t call him out. That’s why I didn’t respond to it. I didn’t tweet about it. I didn’t go on a bunch of radio stations. I did a couple of interviews and I was like, I’m not defending myself. This is ridiculous and I talked to Matt, too. It’s a non-story as far as I was concerned.”

It seems like every NFL offseason features at least one manufactured controversy about whether a certain quarterback is or is not elite. At least we got the one from this offseason over with early.

23 responses to “Gonzalez unhappy with how his Ryan comments were portrayed

  1. I agree with Gonzo. His comment was NOT meant to be a slam on Ryan, as it was portrayed by “the media.”

    Upon reading the headline, it appeared to be a bash job — but reading his comments in context showed it to be a refreshingly honest assessment of Ryan, but no ill intent. Is Ryan elite? I don’t think so. Brady, Manning, Rodgers and Brees are ELITE. But Ryan is WAYYY up there on the short list of high quality QBs – and that’s what Gonzo basically said.

    Gonzalez is right. This “story” was packaged with a very misleading spin on where Gonzo was coming from, and it’s hard to blame him for being a little bent about it.

  2. He said Ryan wasn’t on par with Peyton, Brady, Brees or Rodgers yet; even the most fervent Falcons fan would have to agree. While Ryan is Hall of Very Good material at this point in his career he’s certainly not a 1st ballot HOF like those 4 guys.

  3. Learn from this Gonzalez. It is going to be more of the same now that you have a job in the press……Good luck; I know you’ll do great.

  4. This is why I stated that low character juicer tony gonzalez was going to be more annoying than ever.

    gonzalez is insecure and desperate to be love/liked.

  5. He’s right. He’s an excellent QB, but not elite. He needs to win something to become elite. Now is Flacco an elite QB because he won a SB…. obviously not, because he’s not an excellent QB.

    There are 4 elite QB’s right now: Brady, Brees, Rodgers, P. Manning. That’s it.

  6. Those comments are probably the reason why he got the gig at CBS. I bet he’s going to have a weekly segment of him evaluating QB’s, telling people if he thinks a certain Qb is elite or not.

  7. Should be more upset about saying he would come back to the Falcons if they were 9-2. Just go away please

  8. We also all know that Roethlisberger, Kaepernick. and Russell Wilson are Waaaaayyy behind Flacco in the “excellent” category.

  9. what I want to know is why does Gonzalez go out to dinner with his wife and Ryan’s wife all the time?

  10. First and foremost, it’s the truth.

    But, I do find it a bit funny that he didn’t share this story until being hired by CBS Sports, a direct competitor to ESPN and NFLN. I guess it didn’t take him long to get acclimated to the media business.

  11. If Gonzalez cant deal with minor criticism such as this, then his broadcasting career is going to be much, much shorter than his playing career.

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