FLOWERY BRANCH — Despite getting less production out of the tight end position than the Falcons have averaged over the last three seasons, Tony Gonzalez is comfortable with the role the tight end plays in new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter’s system.
In Jacksonville, tight end Marcedes Lewis averaged 41.4 catches over the last five seasons with David Garrard and Blaine Gabbert operating the offense. Lewis peaked in 2010 when he caught 58 passes and 10 touchdowns to earn a trip to the Pro Bowl.
In former coordinator Mike Mularkey’s system, Gonzalez averaged 77.6 catches over the past three seasons and has made two trips to the Pro Bowl.
“I don’t see it changing too much from what it’s been around here,” Gonzalez said. “It’s somewhat the same plays. Of course, he brought his great plays that he liked down there.”
Gonzalez, the 12-time Pro Bowler, was excused from most of the offseason work and the death of his stepfather of 25 years, kept him from attending minicamp.
So, the 15-year veteran is just now starting to dig into the new playbook.
“I had a chance to watch film today on Marcedes and see what he was able to do in this system and it looked good,” Gonzalez said. “One thing about Coach Koetter, is that he’s going with what’s good for the players. I love that in a coach; put players in a position to be successful. It’s not about his system, it’s about what works and what Matt [Ryan] is comfortable with because obviously he’s the one driving the train.”
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog