Posted: 6:00 am Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Countdown to camp: Day 3 — Tight ends 

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — The countdown rolls on!

The rookies report Tuesday and the veterans — minus one key future Hall of Famer in Tony Gonzalez — report Thursday. The first practice is set for Friday.

We started our countdown 10 days out.

Countdown to camp: Day 10 – The new coaches

Countdown to camp: Day 9 – Special teams

Countdown to camp: Day 8 – Defensive backs

Countdown to camp: Day 7 — Linebackers

Countdown to camp: Day 6 — Defensive line 

Countdown to camp: Day 5 – Offensive line

Today, we’ll look at the tight end group.

Here’s our projected depth chart for the tight end group.

Falcons tight ends Jacob Pedersen (left) and Levine Toilolo (right) run drills during team practice on Tuesday, June 10, 2014, in Flowery Branch. (By Curtis Compton/

Falcons tight ends Jacob Pedersen (left) and Levine Toilolo (right) run drills during team practice on Tuesday, June 10, 2014, in Flowery Branch. (By Curtis Compton/

TE 80 Levine Toilolo, 86 Bear Pascoe, 82 Mickey Shuler, 81 Jacob Pedersen, 49 Brian Wozniak

If you want to see tight end Tony Gonzalez this year, you can find him on CBS.

After five stellar seasons with the Falcons he retired. He played the 12 previous seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Falcons are going to take the committee approach to replacing his productivity.

In the two seasons with Dirk Koetter as the offensive coordinator, Gonzalez caught 93 passes for 930 yards and eight touchdowns in 2012 and 83 passes for 859 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

Gonzalez averaged 81.8 catches over five seasons with the team. Of his 409 catches, 267 went for first downs, or 65.2 percent. He played a major role in helping the offense move the chains.

The Falcons signed Bear Pascoe in free agency, and Levine Toilolo returns for his second season. Also, Mickey Shuler, Jacob Pedersen and Brian Wozniak are tight ends on the roster.

“It will be spread through the tight ends and then throughout the wide receivers,” Koetter said. “There will be some more runs in there and then more (passes) to the running backs. But it will be a combination of all of the rest of the guys. We just won’t target the true tight end as much as we have in the past.”

The 6-foot-8 Toilolo is considered a redzone option. He played in all 16 games last season and had 11 catches for 55 yards and two touchdowns.

Pascoe, 28, played five seasons with the New York Giants. He’s started 31 NFL games and played in 66. He has 38 career catches.



WR11 Julio Jones, 13 Darius Johnson, 14 Courtney Roby, 18 Freddie Martino, 89 Bernard Reedy,

LT 72 Sam Baker, 76 Lamar Holmes, 74 Terren Jones

LG 63 Justin Blalock, 68 Gabe Carimi, 67 Adam Replogle

C 61 Joe Hawley, 66 Peter Konz, 62 James Stone

RG 75 Jon Asamoah, 69 Harland Gunn

RT 70 Jake Matthews, 79 Mike Johnson 73 Ryan Schrader

TE 80 Levine Toilolo, 86 Bear Pascoe, 82 Mickey Shuler, 81 Jacob Pedersen, 49 Brian Wozniak

WR 84 Roddy White, 83 Harry Douglas, 15 Geraldo Boldewijn, 16 Julian Jones, 87 Tramaine Thompson

QB 2 Matt Ryan, 8 T.J. Yates, 12 Sean Renfree, 9 Jeff Mathews

RB 39 Steven Jackson, 32 Jacquizz Rodgers, 35 Antone Smith, 33 Devonta Freeman, 30 Josh Vaughan, 34 Jerome Smith

FB  42 Patrick DiMarco, 45 Maurice Hagens, 43 Roosevelt Nix

4-3 DEFENSE (with an extra line for the nickel back)

RE 95 Jonathan Babineaux, 50 Osi Umenyiora, 96 Jonathan Massaquoi, 90 Stansly Maponga

DT 99 Tyson Jackson, 91 Corey Peters, 92 Travian Robertson

DT 96 Paul Soliai, 97 Peria Jerry, 98 Cliff Matthews, 65 Donte Rumph

LE 77 Ra’Shede Hageman, 98 Malliciah Goodman, 49 Tyler Starr, 64 Nosa Equae

OLB 71 Kroy Biermann, 48 Brenden Daley, 45 Jacques Smith

MLB 55 Paul Worrilow, 52 Tim Dobbins, 54 Yawin Smallwood

OLB 59 Joplo Bartu, 53 Prince Shembo, 51 Marquis Spruill, 46 Walker May,

RCB 21 Desmond Trufant, 28 Javier Arenas, 37 Ricardo Allen,

NB 26 Josh Wilson, 27 Robert McClain, 28 Javier Arenas, 41 Dezmen Southward

LCB 23 Robert Alford, 24 Jordan Mabin, 43 Devonta Glover-Wright

SS 25 William Moore, 36 Kemal Ishmael, 40 Kimario McFadden, 22 Zeke Motta

FS 20 Dwight Lowery, 41 Dezmen Southward, 29 Sean Baker


K 3 Matt Bryant, 6 Sergio Castillo

KO 5 Matt Bosher

P 5 Matt Bosher

KR 17 Devin Hester, 28 Javier Arenas, 14 Courtney Roby

PR  17 Devin Hester, 27 Robert McClain, 28 Javier Arenas

LS  47 Josh Harris

 H 5 Matt Bosher


Date                                                      Practice Times (public availability)

Tuesday, July 22                                Rookies report

Thursday, July 24                          Veterans report

Friday, July 25                                    Practice 3:30 – 5:50 p.m. (open to the public)

Saturday, July 26                              Practice 3:30 – 5:50 p.m. (open to the public)

Sunday, July 27                                 Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Monday, July 28                               Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Tuesday, July 29                               Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Wednesday, July 30                        Players’ Day Off (No Media Availability)

Thursday, July 31                              Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Friday, August 1                              “Friday Night Lights” at Archer High School (Lawrenceville)

                                                            6:45 – 9:10 p.m. (open to the public)

Saturday, August 2                          Practice 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. (open to the public)

Sunday, August 3                             Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Monday, August 4                           Combined Practice w/Tennessee  3-5:30 p.m.                                                (open to the public)

Tuesday, August 5                           Players’ Day Off (No Media Availability)

Wednesday, August 6                    Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Thursday, August 7                         Pregame Walkthrough (No Media Availability)

Friday, August 8                                Falcons vs. Miami Dolphins

                                                                Georgia Dome

                                                                7:00 p.m. ET – CW69

 Saturday, August 9                          Practice 4:30 – 5:45 p.m. (open to the public)

 Sunday, August 10                           Players’ Day Off (No Media Availability)

 Monday, August 11                         Practice 3:30 – 5:50 p.m. (open to the public)

 Tuesday, August 12                         Practice 10:00 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. (open to the public)

 Wednesday, August 13                 Combined Practice w/ Houston Texans (Houston, TX)

Thursday, August 14                       Combined Practice w/ Houston Texans (Houston, TX)

Friday, August 15                             Pregame Walkthrough (No Media Availability)

Saturday, August 16                        Falcons at Houston Texans

                                                                NRG Stadium

                                                                8:00 p.m. ET – CW69

 Sunday, August 17                           Players’ Day Off (No Media Availability)

Monday, August 18                         Practice 10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. (closed to the public)

                                                                Break Camp


Q&A with Falcons QB T.J. Yates

Falcons to practice with Titans, Texans in training camp

Falcons coach Mike Smith will try to rebound from first losing season on Hard Knocks 

Sam Baker is back to help line re-establish its identity

Falcons WR Roddy White: ‘Hard for me to deal with’ death of a brother

How much the Falcons rookies will be paid

Rookies getting advice on NFL life

Open competition in training camp will be good for Undrafted Rookies


Sean Weatherspoon suffers season-ending Achilles injury

What’s next for Sean Weaatherspoon?

What’s next for the Falcons at linebacker?

Javier Arenas gets to watch longtime role model

Falcons cut Szczerba, Yoklic

Falcons minicamp is open to the public


Sean Weatherspoon to miss 2014 season

Matt Ryan on Harry Douglas’ contribution to the offense

Falcons defensive line coach Bryan Cox

Falcons tight end Levine Toilolo

Falcons assistant head coach Terry Robiskie on Devin Hester

Falcons coach Mike Smith on OTAs


We got no choice but to give this Toilolo kid a shot. Poor position management by Hair-Gel.

Not saying we should have an all pro TE in place to take the reigns from Gonzo, but going into camp with a 4th round comp pick, 3 undrafted FAs & "the Bear" Pascoe is a failure to properly evaluate talent/value the position by the GM.


Certainly appears we're headed for lots of 3&4 wide formations.

This is why I called for upgrading the WR corp in FA!

HD ain't good enough to snag Gonzo's old receptions.

Sydney Rice in the slot woulda been awfully nice.


I think I would try a few 6'4" to 6'8" guys with heavy builds that didn't make it to the NBA and give those willing,  tryouts. See how they handle the hits and if they could possible learn to block. Put the best two on the PS for a year or two and see if we could save a high draft choice on TE in 2015 or 2016. Did you notice TG never took too many hard hits.


Toilolo has shown some decent hands, and may have the most upside, especially, of course, given his height; but TE is one of several positions (all three LB positions included) where the Falcons are currently below-NFL-average.  That's troubling, but let's see how things shake out---there may still be some acquisitions to be made.


I like what I've seen from toilolo. He's got potential...


I think we will see more of "smitty" ball with two tight end sets this year...meaning they will go back to the running game.  They will replace the tight end this year by sliding Roddy in the slot, and give him those 7 yard out and 12 yard curls that TG88 used to run. 


If the falcons don't have a dominant TE.  The only other strategy would be to spread the ball around among your other guys. Its a simple plan. Hopefully effective.



The reason Gonzalez could get away with that (for the most part) was because he was so big and could sit down in zones. The Bears in Chicago game, Urlacher ran under that route and made an interception. The Falcons try using Roddy in the slot 5-15 in their goal line pieces. The teams need to beat in the post season sit on that route. Go and watch that SF game again, Bowman saw it and jumped it. Brooks saw it and blew Ryan up!