Think Matt Ryan isn’t excited about having a 10-time Pro Bowl tight end to throw to? Think again. “Well, yeah, certainly as a quarterback, any time you get a new toy, you want to try it out,” Ryan said Friday after a practice with his new TE. “I threw a couple of balls his way, and he didn’t disappoint.”
That new tight end of course is Tony Gonzalez, who the Falcons nabbed from the Chiefs for a draft pick in 2010 a few days before the draft. Gonzalez joins a squad that already has some talent on offense, but now with Gonzalez, they could be ready to take another big step forward.
“It’s big for us to pick up Tony,” Ryan said. “He’s one of the greatest players of all time, so [adding] him to your team helps you improve. He’s done a great job since he’s been here the last couple of weeks, working hard in the weight room. I’ve been very impressed.”
Gonzalez has a new found zeal both in the locker room and probably will on the field as well. He’s a player that has wanted to play on a winning team for awhile, and realized that it wasn’t going to happen with the Chiefs, a team that is still awhile away from being competitive on the field.
For now, with players like Roddy White making catches and Michael Turner breaking tackles, it will open up a whole new facet of the offense with Gonzalez making plays for Ryan, who enters his second season ready to become even better than he was as the NFL AP Offensive Rookie of the Year last season.
Gonzalez likes already what he has seen from his new QB, and is ready to make a big impact in 2009 looking for even bigger and better from Ryan and the Falcons. “He’s very good,” Gonzalez said. “That’s one that stood out was how accurate he is. How much of a leader he is in the huddle. He commands attention when he gets into the huddle, and that’s indicative of a great player and a great leader. It’s fun to be playing with a guy like that. I’m looking forward to it.”
As are the fans in Atlanta.