FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez believes the fans are on their way to being some of the best in the league.
He compared them favorably to the rabid fans he played before when he was with the Kansas City Chiefs.
“Come playoff time, I’m hoping it goes up another notch,” Gonzalez said. “But Kansas City — you talk about that home field — there isn’t anything else going on in that town. They’re just die-hard Chiefs fans out there.
“In Atlanta, you see it. You see it in spurts. I’d like to see it a little bit more. I think they do understand the advantage that it gives you as a home team, to have that crowd going nuts.”
Quarterback Matt Ryan, who’s posted a 20-2 record at the Georgia Dome, believes the fans are key.
“I think the fans have been awesome this year,” Ryan said. “I think the Dome’s been a tough place for teams to come in and play. The atmosphere has been electric.”
The fans know when to be quiet.
“You can communicate a lot easier at home,” Ryan said. “There’s not as much noise when we’re on offense. We need our fans to be quiet when we’re on offense.”
On defense, they appreciate the art of noise. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon had a t-shirt from the team’s website promoting “Project 115.” They want to get the sound decibel level up to 115 during the game.
“We are trying to have an earthquake,” Weatherspoon said.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter