Atlanta Falcons: Rest begins for veteran players

Falcons veteran Tony Gonzalez catches a few passes before Monday's afternoon workout but the veteran tight end did not participate in the workout. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Falcons veteran Tony Gonzalez catches a few passes before Monday's afternoon workout but the tight end did not participate. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM


Vivlamore reporting from Falcons training camp.

FLOWERY BRANCH – Roddy White warmed up for Monday’s afternoon training camp practice with a spectator standing nearby. Tony Gonzalez was present but wore just a jersey and shorts. It was obvious the 15-year veteran would be watching this workout.

Owner Arthur Blank approached White and asked why the wide receiver wasn’t wearing the white bucket hat with the Falcons logo that has become the fashion statement of the camp.

“Because I have to work today, unlike some of these old guys,” White joked as he motioned to Gonzalez.

Gonzalez was given the afternoon off as has been the plan of coach Mike Smith with the older players on the team.

“We’ve got a plan for a number of guys [who will sit out],” Smith said. “Tony was the first one to take a day off. You’ll see some of the older guys over the next couple of days [rested].”

Players such as center Todd McClure and Gonzalez will be rest periodically through camp and the season. According to Smith, he has already begun the process.

“You’ll see what I call some stealth benchings, where we will pull them off to the side,” Smith said. “They may take a few snaps and you’d really have to be counting to see who is taking the majority of the snaps.”

Here’s a story on the over 30 club.

- Chris Vivlamore

16 comments Add your comment


July 30th, 2012
7:27 pm

Yeah, first!!


July 30th, 2012
7:29 pm

As a forty-something year old veteran of the armed services, I know the value of some down time. It’s hard to sustain a high level of efficiency if you are constantly working. Young folks can’t conceive this idea because they are full of unspent energy, but you want the best that your seniors can give because they have proven over time that their production is hard to duplicate.


July 30th, 2012
8:56 pm

It’s a good thing the new CBA increased the number of camp bodies to 90, cause with all these geriatrics on this team, they couldn’t sustain a practice with all those wheelchairs on the sidelines.


July 30th, 2012
9:20 pm

Exactly Tj Hook!

lee Gale

July 31st, 2012
5:40 am

Kevin Cone was in shorts and no pads at Monday’s practice, What’s up?

lee Gale

July 31st, 2012
5:44 am

Correction on last comment That was #40 ROBBIE FREY (WR) from Kutztown.


July 31st, 2012
8:01 am

I view the “rest” for vetran players as being soft and sets a poor tone for practice…The entire team should have a chip on their shoulder and be working their butts off to get to the next level….Every member on this team can and, must, improve to get a playoff win.

Smitty needs to push all of these guys….I dont like the tone……I like Smith but think he sets a “status quo” message at times…

Get these guys to work

Saints R.E.A.M.

July 31st, 2012
8:27 am

Rick – I agree. I understand going a little easier on the old guys by limiting their reps ….but for them to be in shorts & t-shirts sets the wrong impression for younger players. Gonzalez looks like he’s playing catch with his girlfriend at the park.


July 31st, 2012
9:27 am

These are professional athletes who have been playing the game so long they know the playbook better than the coaches. The biggest issue with these proven producers is their ability to stay healthy enough to be on the field. If the NFL Player’s Association wants players to get paid until they are 65, then new techniques and rule changes will be necesary. I’m very pleased to have Tony G. on the team again this year. Because of his unique work ethic and conditioning, he will probably be one of the top 10 Tight Ends again this year and his presence on the field commands respect by the defense. The message to young players is “become one of the best of all time and you too may get a day off one day”.

I usually just read but....

July 31st, 2012
9:28 am

Roddy should be catching tennis balls from a pitching machine until he handles 20 in a row with no drops.


July 31st, 2012
12:18 pm

“How he’s won as a starter in the league, we think he’s a top 10 quarterback,” Koetter said. “His play backs that up.”

Koetter, who has replaced the departed Mike Mularkey, clearly has been pleased with Ryan and the rest of the offensive unit.”

Hey Dirk, your in for a rude awaking Sir….Playoffs! PLAYOFFS? Guess you missed that MeadowLands meltdown? [4th and inches twice] [Zero Points]! Yes?

Top 10???? Hahahahahaha

Hey Dirk, quit fooling yourself…


July 31st, 2012
12:19 pm

Top 10 Chokes….Yes….


July 31st, 2012
12:43 pm

Top ten players equals top ten finish….I want to finish number one…….


July 31st, 2012
1:35 pm

Mickey…..the message to the younger players should perhaps be….I’m one of you and I’m still working my butt off to get even better….limit reps yes… off no…..

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 31st, 2012
1:47 pm

lee Gale – He has a foot injury. Expected back any day now. (Robbie Frey/Kutztown/UConn transfer).

Falcons Fanatic

July 31st, 2012
5:17 pm

Let’s see how well our O-line holds up next Thursday night vs the Ravens………….