Posted: 6:00 am Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Tony Gonzalez expects Falcons to rebound in 2014 

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

Tony Gonzalez believes the Falcons can rebound in 2014. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

Tony Gonzalez believes the Falcons can rebound in 2014. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

Former Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he felt the Falcons would rebound from their last-place finish in 2014.

After winning his first playoff game and reaching the NFC championship game, he returned to play one more season in 2013, but the Falcons finished 4-12.

“This year’s team, it was just a matter or injuries,” said Gonzalez after talking about his new CBS Sports gig. “I said it during the season. When you lose Julio Jones that’s a huge part of your offense. When he got hurt, he was the best receiver in the league statistically. Then with Roddy (White) not being healthy the whole year, that hurt. You saw what (White) did when he finally got healthy. He started putting up 100 yards a game and touchdowns.”

Gonzalez believes the offensive line holds the key.

“The offensive line has to get better, which I think they will,” Gonzalez said. “Which means (some players need to get) healthy. The starting right tackle (Mike Johnson) went down in the preseason. Sam Baker was hurt all year. You’re plugging holes. It was like a dam that kept springing leaks. You put your finger in one hole and then another one opened up. It was just that type of year for us.”

He was encouraged by the team’s stout play down the stretch.

“We lost so many close games,” Gonzalez said. “I was looking at the playoffs and seeing how Carolina, San Francisco 49ers and the Saints played. We lost games to those guys on the last play of the game and they were in the playoffs.

“The people were saying these are the best teams in the NFL. We were that close and look at how many injuries that we had. Don’t get me wrong, I know other teams had injuries, but not like us. It was just devastating type injuries. Losing (linebacker Sean Weatherspoon). . . .he was one of our No. 1 guys on defense. It was a tough situation.”

He’s expecting the Falcons to rebound and be in the playoff chase.

“I think that they will get back,” Gonzalez said. “I have no doubt that they will get back. Coach (Mike) Smith is going to get them where they need to be. So is (general manager) Thomas (Dimitroff). If they can stay healthy, they’ll be right back where they’ve been the previous five years.”

23 comments
KendallA
KendallA

it's amazing how you guys get on here and fuss and fight and try your best to sound educated, about something none of you have ANY control over. everyone wanna play GM, coach, owner, etc.....here's an idea, why don't you go to nfl.com and apply for a job.....see how that works out for ya. But maybe I'm the only one missing out on the total fan experience!

JSSN
JSSN

And for you Nare de well posters who keep trying to lump anyone who doesn't toe the "Flowery Branch Way" into "Saints fans" ledger, here's some news, I don't care! 

1. The Saints and Falcons were miserable. Saints found their way to being an average team way before the Falcons. They've only had 10 losing seasons since 1986. No dog in this pissing contest anymore, but you have to face facts.

2. They have a Lombardi, the League is not coming to take it back!

3. Dallas Cowboys and Raiders Trolls eat Falcons and Saints trolls for Breakfast and come back for a lunch snack!

Never address STB4 or I in the same lines if you have an issue. His posts are his, and my opinions are mine! Thanks!! 

warfalcon
warfalcon

SeenThatB4 -  JSSN the same thing that happened to the Atlanta Falcons is going to happen to the aints, you must know the history of both teams. You two act like the aints have always been a good team [WRONG]. The first problem is already happening with Jimmy Graham they will not pay him and he may become a Falcon in 2015 as our owner will pay him. Mark my words I have watch both teams since they became NFL teams ,so watch and see !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and shut the &^*# talking about my FALCONS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


LETS GO FALCONS  















SeenThatB4
SeenThatB4

The falcan'ts didn't have a lot of injuries in week 1 last year when the Saints slammed the door shut in TGonzales' face. Of course, if the Saints had stayed healthy too, they'dve won the Super Bowl too. He doesn't have much credibility with these statement since he came out of retirement cause he expected the falcan'ts to make a SB run last year. LOL, now he's using "injuries" as an excuse!!!

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

I want the UVA duo!!

Those 2 will go a long way in fixing the Falcons.

Albert on the left side & Monroe on the right.

........what, what's that you say:

Sam Baker is being paid how much, for how long?!?

:(

JSSN
JSSN

The thing I always love about comments from "real knowledgeable fans" is that always pretend that they can bring a single nuclear weapon being carried by 1945 B-29 into a fight with a adversary who has supersonic jet fighters  and multi-war head delivery devices and expecting folks to start running scared!

Bring on the "Crippled Dome Patrol!" The NFL is just shuttering in fear at the 2012 (oops 2014) Falcons!

TrueFalconFan
TrueFalconFan

TG#88 is a GREAT TE, in away i'm glad his time here is over. 


So Tony, if you're listening, "Thank You" I appreciate all that you brought to this Falcons team. Forsure you will be "or should be" a first ballot HOFr. 


I for one have the feeling and call it superstition that you were a jinx through-out your career. I'm sorry to say that now, but that's the way I feel. 


Good Luck TG#88 --- I really enjoyed watching you play this game and i would never had missed them. You truly deserved a championship team!


Go Falcons

JSSN
JSSN

That's the thing about being "preach"ed to, you hear the propaganda side of the sermon. Then you're suppose to have the good sense to see beyond it and realize what is true. The Dam's foundation is compromised. You refuse to drain the thing and build a new and better version.

There's your daily "negative" (it just happens to be true)!

LeftisnotRight
LeftisnotRight

Like Tony says...linemen, linemen, linemen.........Go Falcons!

Dman
Dman

You are preaching to the Chior Tony. Real knowledgeable football fans know that already. It WAS the injuries and you are right that we will be right back where we have been the previous 5 years. Well said...

MackHickman
MackHickman

@JSSN  bro get on the picayune website or whatever. and stop talking about 09! y'all win the big one this year? oh nah? then stfu 

JSSN
JSSN

@warfalcon  

Dude, how many times did you hit the return key before you realized that you have to hit "Post Comment" button?

Dman
Dman

BEAST MODE

MackHickman
MackHickman

@SeenThatB4  bro that was one game lol. y'all certainly wouldn't have beaten Seattle regardless. and we were much more injured. saints fans are the biggest trolls in LIFE I swear smh

JSSN
JSSN

@MackHickman @SeenThatB4  

Falcons Trolls can never talk about anybody! Meanwhile, go and check out any team opposite the Raiders or Cowboys and say: "saints fans are the biggest trolls in LIFE I swear!" It is not even close!

MackHickman
MackHickman

@JSSN @MackHickman @SeenThatB4  i live in new orleans, it's certainly y'all lol. you're literally having this conversation on an ATLANTA NEWSPAPERS WEBSITE! convo over. troll

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

How bout Rd 2, when we'll have the pick of the litter?

Lacy, Giovanni, LeVeon all helped their teams tremendously last year from round 2.

You wanna mask a weak offensive line?.....Get some fresh legs that can do some damage in the Backfield.