Gonzalez Keeping Up with Younger TEs

Gonzalez Keeping Up with Younger TEs

Jay Adams

Published January 31, 2012 at 4:02 PM

If it looks to you like tight end Tony Gonzalez keeps staring his age in the face and brushing it off, well, you’re spot on. Gonzalez is coming off another tremendous season in which he recorded his most receiving yards since becoming a Falcon (875) and found the endzone seven times.

Gonzalez, who turns 36 next month, has continually produced for the Falcons despite being in the late stages of his career, reaching numbers in his three years in Atlanta that are right on par with some of his years in Kansas City.

His age certainly hasn’t been a factor as he has on more than one occasion stated that he feels as good as he has his entire career, maybe even better. As ESPN.com NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas points out, that has everything to do with the time he spends on the field.

According to Yasinskas’ research, Gonzalez was on the field for 84.5 percent of the Falcons’ offensive snaps — the most of any tight end in the NFC South and No. 10 in the league. It’s important to point out that the NFC South isn’t short on tight end talent. New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham had a breakout season, leading the division in receiving at the position, and Carolina’s Greg Olsen and Tampa Bay’s Kellen Winslow have certainly established themselves as top threats at tight end.

Of the four TEs, Graham took the lowest percentage of snaps, 69.3 percent.

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