Atlanta Falcons: Tony Gonzalez sticking to his ‘95 percent’ retirement pledge

101128 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith celebrates on the sidelines with tight end Tony Gonzalez after he caught a Matt Ryan pass for a touchdown to give the Falcons a 10-3 lead over the Green Bay Packers in the final seconds of the 2nd quarter at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010.   Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

101128 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith celebrates on the sidelines with tight end Tony Gonzalez after he caught a Matt Ryan pass for a touchdown to give the Falcons a 10-3 lead over the Green Bay Packers in the final seconds of the 2nd quarter at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

By MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez is sticking to his pledge that he’s “95 percent” certain he will retire after the season.

That means Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff game against the Seahawks, his 260th when including the playoffs, could be his last in the NFL.

“It’s one and done if we don’t win, (so) for me, this could be it,” he said. “There is no tomorrow. There is no saying, ‘We’ll get them next year.’ It’s about going out there and finishing on the right note.”

Gonzalez, 36, is winding down a career that’s still going strong. He recently was voted to his 14th Pro Bowl team to add to a resume that one day will put him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

But what Gonzalez’s career lacks is a playoff victory. Gonzalez was 0-3 in the postseason with Kansas City and has lost two playoff games with the Falcons.

Gonzalez said pride plays a part in the motivation for both him and the Falcons to end the drought.

“Legacy is what comes in,” he said. “What you do in the playoffs is what (people) remember. It’s a little bit of pressure; it’s a little bit of anxiety, but that’s good. We need that. I need that. I like having a little bit of anxiety because it keeps me going, keeps me alert.”

Gonzalez said it would be “well into the off-season” before he makes his decision official because he wants to talk with his family and make sure he’s doing the right thing. Falcons coach Mike Smith said he’s still clinging to the 5 percent chance that Gonzalez will change his mind and return for another season.

Gonzalez didn’t want to talk about what it would mean to end his career without a playoff victory, but didn’t play down the importance of the game Sunday.

“I’m not going to lie to you: I really, really want to win this game,” he said. “Not just for me, honestly, but for the guys on this team, how hard we’ve worked. This is the best team I’ve ever been a part of as far as environment and talent, too. I really feel we have a real good shot. If we go out there and play our game, we will like the outcome.”




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41 comments Add your comment

SSIDawg

January 10th, 2013
10:00 pm

First! The Falcons will rock the house this weekend!

Adogg36

January 10th, 2013
10:05 pm

Dey talking s— about houston worse than us.

Mr. Freckies

January 10th, 2013
10:19 pm

180 minutes from a parade!

1990_Champs_GT

January 10th, 2013
10:30 pm

Need to send Gonzo out a winner. Need three more wins for that.

[...] a 10-3 lead over the Green Bay Packers in the final seconds of the 2nd quarter at the Source: Atlanta Falcons – D. Orlando Ledbetter AJC Blog Share this: atlanta falcons football, atlanta falcons news, falcons football news, falcons news [...]

extremus

January 10th, 2013
11:51 pm

Just help give us three more straight wins, Tony Gonzalez, and then decide. But whether you walk away or return for another round, here’s hoping you do it as a Superbowl winner!

QB/WR

January 11th, 2013
1:00 am

Whatever it takes to get him to stay Arthur Blank and TD must give it to him. We are so close if not there, if we don’t get this thing a GREAT DRAFT a trade here or there and we are definitely there!

Eastpoint

January 11th, 2013
2:26 am

this guy will be 37 yrs old and you want him to come back…draft a tight end and build for the future, Great career Tony G..1st ballot hall of famer..all things must come to an end and he needs to join ray lewis to hang up the pads for good.

Samuel

January 11th, 2013
5:03 am

I hope he retires you don’t want to stay in the game too long. But at the end of the day it’s still his dicision.

Scott

January 11th, 2013
5:52 am

I hope he has a huge game on Sunday… catches one of those TD’s where he is covered and Ryan puts it in a spot where only Gonzalez can make a great catch and he does, and I hope he comes back for another year. There is not a player more fun to watch than Tony G. It is fun to see what a pro at it highest level looks like and Tony G. is it!

Falcons Fan

January 11th, 2013
6:28 am

Thanks for a great season Tony!!

The Real Falcon

January 11th, 2013
6:46 am

No worries. Gonzo will get his win this week. Hawks are grounded!

In my Seahawks onesies

January 11th, 2013
6:58 am

Better strap them up Tony g and co if you want this one, my hawk’s d finna come at y’all all day long. This going to be the longest game in yall lives!!!

MeToo

January 11th, 2013
7:16 am

Don’t you guys understand why it is an easy decision for TG to retire after this season?

If the Falcons don’t advance to the Super Bowl this year, this team and current players will never advance to the Super Bowl with conservative and stubborn Head Coach Mike Smith. HC Mike Smith holds the key to how this team plays this Sunday.

By past indications, he will continue his outdated conservative thinking regarding the Falcons’ offense. He will not start the most capable man at running back who is QRogers. He will have MTurner at that position to continue his negative runs, stopping drives, and putting MRyan in long third down situations. How many wasted plays do you let Michael Turner have?.

HC Smith must let the players PLAY!!! It takes points on the scoreboard to win a game not time off the clock and wasted running attempts up the middle by MTurner.

If you don’t believe me about MTurner, look at his yardage in the three previous playoff games under HC Smith. His total yards in each of those games have been around 35-40 yards. MTurner has never delivered in the big games including when Ovie was the fullback.

The talent on the offensive side of the ball is tremendous, but has never been tapped. Why did it take HC Smith four years to see that Mularkey and BVG did not know what they were doing? Neither have lasted with their respective teams this year. A college team fired BVG amd Mularkey was fired in less than a week by a former Falcons front office man.

The writing is clearly on the wall for Tony G.

Elvis is Alive

January 11th, 2013
7:21 am

Someone once said,”Don’t ever bet on the outcome of any game that involves a ball, way too unpredictable! Horses, cards and the slots are OK.
None of us know how the ball will bounce, but I feel our coaches know how to defend against scrambling QB”s and a strong runner (who has a rib problem-Ouch).
The critics are in the thousands and wildly assuming the FALCONS past will forecast the future.
We might as well ask the Magic 8-Ball for the answer. Not the Magic City wenches.
MY observation is that the team will be ready to play and confident in their abilities to smack the SEA-CHICKS n the mouth dozens of times.
Past performance does not indicate any outcome when chance comes into play.
Believe you can win..say it loud..yell it at practice..WE WILL WIN THIS GAME say it again and then a third time…power of positive thinking.
It’s NOW or NEXT YEAR..FALCONS..No excuses..no coulda, shoulda, woulda, if, only or because!
Rise Up..Angry Birds..Rise Up.

Kennesaw Falcon

January 11th, 2013
7:44 am

Falcons will put an end to all this Seahawk love this Sunday. Falcons are ready to show up and rise up!

Bobby Butler

January 11th, 2013
7:57 am

I hope Tony G will consider staying with the team as a TE coach to help develop talent and just be a positive influence for the squad.

Bill

January 11th, 2013
8:08 am

Whether he comes back or not, the Falcons need to find and groom someone to replace him. Someone big and smart and athletic. I hear that Tim Tebow is available.

Esquire

January 11th, 2013
8:18 am

MeToo
January 11th, 2013
7:16 am

Don’t you guys understand why it is an easy decision for TG to retire after this season?
********************************
I copied and pasted your remarks in babelfish to see if it could be translated. It came back as
“smoke and mirrors”.

Gonzo’s final decision to play another year or retire has nothing to do with Coach Mike Smith. If nothing else I think Tony would tell you he has a hard time walking away because of our entire coaching staff, one of the best in Falcon history.

Esquire

January 11th, 2013
8:20 am

Tony G’s got 3 games left and will probably be 3 of his greatest!

Season Ticket Holder

January 11th, 2013
8:58 am

100% sure that Tony Gonzalez will retire this year with a Super Bowl Ring!!!!!! Go Falcons. One game at a time for 3 games.!!

1776

January 11th, 2013
9:07 am

Tony could probably play another 3-4 productive seasons, but probably doesn’t want to risk (serious) injury and spend more time w/ his family.

Polk County Falcon

January 11th, 2013
9:23 am

Draft Zach Ertz

DawgNole

January 11th, 2013
9:27 am

Elvis is Alive
January 11th, 2013
7:21 am

The critics are in the thousands and wildly assuming the FALCONS past will forecast the future.
____________________

Why would they assume anything else? For 46 years, the Falcons’ past has indeed been an accurate barometer of their future; i.e., ZERO championships. Hopefully, this year will be different, but they first must show–ON THE FIELD–that yes, this time it’s different.

After postseason failures spanning 46 years, it’s the FALCONS’ burden of proof–NOT the critics’–to show that they can achieve playoff success. They obviously have a great chance Sunday afternoon to begin doing exactly that.

DR. FALCON

January 11th, 2013
10:17 am

GOD BLESS YOU, TONY! WHATEVER YOU DECIDE, I’M BEHIND YOU! ONLY YOU KNOW YOUR BODY!

Jamal

January 11th, 2013
10:22 am

Sorry Tony….It will be one and done.

[...] Tony Gonzalez is still 95 percent certain that he’s retiring this offseason. Yes, he’s saying there’s a chance. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution] [...]

Bull Butter

January 11th, 2013
10:37 am

Been a fan since 1966,and in all those years we never had the right cards to play in those playoff games,this year is differant,Mike smith,play your hand!

Stat Checker

January 11th, 2013
10:39 am

MATT RYAN PLAYOFFS:

QBR: 28
PASSING YARDS: 194
TDS: 3
INT: 4
RATING: 71

Bull Butter

January 11th, 2013
10:41 am

Toney G– Best TE to ever play the game!

Joe Flacco

January 11th, 2013
10:46 am

Hey Matty Ice did you hear? I’m the 1st qb ever to win in the playoffs in my first 5 seasons.

DawgNole

January 11th, 2013
10:54 am

Joe Flacco
January 11th, 2013
10:46 am

Hey Matty Ice did you hear? I’m the 1st qb ever to win in the playoffs in my first 5 seasons.
_______________________

Hey Joe, how many championships do you have in your first 5 seasons?

Hint: It’s the SAME number Matty Ice has in his first 5 seasons.

Real Stat Checker

January 11th, 2013
10:55 am

@Stat checker Matt Ryan’s Totl QBR is 70.6 for the playoffs check your sources!! Or better yet your math!! Ryan and the Falcons will RISE UP!!

Vu Ḉa Avant

January 11th, 2013
11:09 am

It’s a darn shame that Tony Gonzalez will retire without every tasting the savory flavor of an NFL playoff victory!

[...] Tony Gonzalez is 95 percent certain that he’s retiring this offseason. Yes, he’s saying there’s a chance. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution] [...]

[...] one and done if we don’t win, [so] for me, this could be it,” Gonzalez said Thursday, via Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  “There [...]

Joshua Brown

January 11th, 2013
12:20 pm

“make sure you are loud. We’re going to need it. Hopefully after this game we come out on top and we’ll need it next week. Let’s get it done this week because it does help when the Rise up Nation is there hootin and hollering and screaming. It’s such an energy to the guys on the field and we appreciate it.” -TONY GONZALEZ

Stat Checker

January 11th, 2013
2:31 pm

@Real Stat Checker

Nice try……..here is my source….what’s yours:

http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/tag/_/name/matt-ryan

Ladies and gentlement, Wrestling Two!

January 11th, 2013
7:12 pm

Take it from an old pro wrasler like me, you will know when it’s time. For now play like hell and remember every second and never let them take your mask off.

[...] Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez is sticking to his pledge that he’s “95 percent” certain he will retire after the season. That means Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff game against the Seahawks, his 260th when including the playoffs, could be his last in the NFL. “It’s one and done if we don’t win, (so) for me, this could be it,” he said. “There is no tomorrow. There is no saying, ‘We’ll get them next year.’ It’s about going out there and finishing on the right note.” Gonzalez, 36, is winding down a career that’s still going strong. He recently was voted to his 14th Pro Bowl team to add to a resume that one day will put him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But what Gonzalez’s career lacks is a playoff victory. Gonzalez was 0-3 in the postseason with Kansas City and has lost two playoff games with the Falcons. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) [...]

[...] Atlanta Falcons This entry was posted in Atlanta Falcons and tagged Atlanta, Falcons, Gonzalez, percent, pledge, retirement, sticking, Tony, ‘95. Bookmark the permalink. ← Calvin Johnson All-Pro slight explained by Tim Ryan [...]