2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Atlanta's Gonzalez upset after allowing rare sack

By GEORGE HENRY - Associated Press
    2013-09-12 16:13

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Tony is still bitterly disappointed in himself for allowing a sack for the first time since 1999.

Gonzalez, a 13-time Pro Bowl tight end with the Atlanta Falcons, says ``it was laziness on my part,'' ``embarrassing'' and ``inexcusable'' when Saints linebacker Junior Galette sacked Matt Ryan for a 10-yard loss late in the second quarter of last week's loss at New Orleans.

With the Falcons (0-1) preparing to host St. Louis (1-0) on Sunday, Gonzalez knows that protection will be at a premium. The Rams' pass rush is led by ends Chris Long and Robert Quinn, who combined for 22 sacks last year.

Quinn had three sacks in last week's win over Arizona.

``All of us have to keep Matt upright and keep that pocket nice and clean so he can throw that ball down the field,'' Gonzalez said on Thursday. ``I thought we played well at times, but we've just got to be more consistent in holding up. That's the biggest improvement we're looking for this week.''

Gonzalez's mistake hurt Atlanta's chance for a field goal that would've tied the game and was one of three sacks and six hits on Ryan.

Other star playmakers had tough moments, too. Julio Jones lost a fumble that led to New Orleans' first touchdown three plays later. Steven Jackson dropped a touchdown at the goal line on the final possession.

But Gonzalez insists that missing three weeks of training camp and two preseason games didn't affect his performance, which included a 7-yard touchdown catch.

The tight end said that's ridiculous.

The Falcons allowed Gonzalez to take time off last month to spend time with his family and watch the first football practices of his 12-year-old son, Nikko, in Southern California.

``He let me have it,'' Gonzalez said. ``He said, `You're lucky that you scored the touchdown. Otherwise that would've been a bad game for you.' It's something I've been thinking about a lot. It won't happen again hopefully.''

Gonzalez was a third-year tight end with the Kansas City Chiefs when Gonzalez last allowed a sack.

He went on to earn his first Pro Bowl invitation that season, but Gonzalez is still irritated about getting beaten by Peter Boulware for a 6-yard sack in Kansas City's 1999 victory at Baltimore.

Thirteen years later, it happened again against Galette, a fourth-year linebacker with just two starts in 33 career games.

``It's not like the guy pushed me into the quarterback,'' Gonzalez said. ``It's one of those things that was a miscalculation on my part, which is inexcusable, and it happened the same way last time.''

Gonzalez prides himself on every part of his game from running crisp routes to making tough catches in traffic and using proper techniques on blocks.

``I was thinking, `He's way out there (on the edge), and there's no way he can get to the quarterback,'' Gonzalez said. ``Matt's going to throw it by then, and I just had a slow, lazy kick instead of kicking it back there and getting aggressive with it like I should have, like I've always done.''

Lamar Holmes, a second-year right tackle, struggled all afternoon in his first career start. It's possible that Jeremy Trueblood, an eighth-year veteran who signed after getting cut by Washington last month, could get some snaps against St. Louis.

Atlanta could have issues at left tackle, too, if Sam Baker doesn't return from a knee injury that's kept him out of practice this week.

``We determine who needs help, who doesn't need help prior to the game, and we try to make those adjustments,'' coach Mike Smith said. ``That's what coaching all about - making those adjustments.

Gonzalez believes pass protection is the offense's biggest concern in facing the Rams.

``Obviously we've got a couple of injuries right now, but we'll be ready this Sunday,'' he said. ``There's no doubt about it. We have to be because we have no choice. We're a good football team, and we can make it happen. We've done it before. We'll do it again.''

Notes: Baker, WR Roddy White (ankle) and DT Jonathan Babineaux (knee) did not participate in practice. ... WR Julio Jones (knee), CB Asante Samuel (thigh) and LB Sean Weatherspoon (knee) were limited.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow George Henry on Twitter at http://twitter.com/georgehenryAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Josh ScobeeSep 1 11:43a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson (hamstring), DT Sen'Derrick Marks (shoulder), PK Josh Scobee (quadriceps) and OT Zane Beadles (undisclosed) are practicing Monday, Sept. 1.

Larry DonnellSep 1 11:43a

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell is the starting tight end on the team's unofficial depth chart. TE Daniel Fells and Adrien Robinson are second- and third-string, respectively.

Quintin DempsSep 1 11:23a

New York Giants SS Quintin Demps is the lead kick returner, while WR Preston Parker is the lead punt returner.

Ben TateSep 1 10:52a

Cleveland Browns RB Ben Tate is expected to stay on the field on third downs, according to head coach Mike Pettine. This is good news for his PPR [ More ]

Charles BrownSep 1 10:43a

New York Giants OT Charles Brown (shoulder) and OT James Brewer (back) returned to practice Monday, Sept. 1.

Ahmad DixonSep 1 10:22a

The Dallas Cowboys released SS Ahmad Dixon.

Lonnie PryorSep 1 09:52a

The Buffalo Bills signed free-agent FB Lonnie Pryor (Buccaneers) and OG D.J. Morrell (Rams) to the practice squad.

Tony HillsSep 1 09:32a

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent LB David Hinds (Titans), TE Jacob Maxwell (Lions), CB Lowell Rose (Chargers) and WR Tommy Streeter (Buccaneers) to the practice squad. C Sam Brenner, [ More ]

Emil IgwenaguSep 1 03:53a

In addition to the previously announced signings of TE Michael Egnew and RB George Winn, the Detroit Lions inked OG Rodney Austin, FB Emil Igwenagu, S Nate Ness, WR [ More ]

Chase FordSep 1 03:42a

Nine players were signed to the Minnesota Vikings practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Players joining the squad include RB Joe Banyard, WR Kain Colter, DT Isame Faciane, TE [ More ]

D.J. SmithSep 1 03:33a

The Carolina Panthers brought 10 players onto their practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Players signed were CB Carrington Byndom, LB Adarius Glanton, WR Tavarres King, SS Robert Lester, [ More ]

Trevin WadeSep 1 03:22a

The New Orleans Saints signed six players to their practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Signees include WR Brandon Coleman, CB Terrence Frederick, WR Seantavius Jones, OT Tavon Rooks, [ More ]

Champ BaileySep 1 02:52a

Although the New York Jets are in need of cornerbacks, they are unlikely to pursue free-agent CB Champ Bailey, who was cut by the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, [ More ]

Dee MillinerSep 1 01:02a

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls and FS Antonio Allen could start at cornerback Week 1 because of the injury to CB Dee Milliner (ankle).

Jeromey ClarySep 1 12:23a

San Diego Chargers OG Jeromey Clary (shoulder, hip) underwent hip surgery around a week ago, and his status for the 2014 season is uncertain, according to sources. Clary has [ More ]

Ryan SuccopSep 1 12:12a

Free-agent PK Ryan Succop (Chiefs) is receiving significant interest from the Tennessee Titans and could sign with them as early as Monday, Sept. 1, according to a source.

Kenjon BarnerSep 1 12:02a

Philadelphia Eagles RB Kenjon Barner (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Vincent BrownSep 1 12:02a

San Diego Chargers WR Vincent Brown (calf) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

DeMarcus Van DykeAug 31 11:52p

Kansas City Chiefs CB DeMarcus Van Dyke (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Jake StoneburnerAug 31 11:32p

Green Bay Packers TE Jake Stoneburner (undisclosed) and OT Aaron Adams (knee) were placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after they were waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

M.D. JenningsAug 31 11:22p

Chicago Bears FS M.D. Jennings (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Steve VallosAug 31 10:33p

The Tennessee Titans released C Steve Vallos Sunday, Aug. 31.

Damian WilliamsAug 31 10:22p

The Miami Dolphins released WR Damian Williams Sunday, Aug. 31.

Mike ThomasAug 31 10:12p

The Houston Texans released WR Mike Thomas Sunday, Aug. 31.

Duke IhenachoAug 31 09:53p

The Washington Redskins have claimed SS Duke Ihenacho off waivers from the Denver Broncos.

Brandon HarrisAug 31 09:53p

The Tennessee Titans have claimed WR T.J. Graham off waivers from the Buffalo Bills, WR Kris Durham from the Detroit Lions and CB Brandon Harris from the Houston Texans.

Garrett GilkeyAug 31 09:42p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have claimed OG Garrett Gilkey off waivers from the Cleveland Browns.

MarQueis GrayAug 31 09:32p

The Minnesota Vikings have claimed TE MarQueis Gray off waivers from the Cleveland Browns and OT Michael X. Harris from the San Diego Chargers.

Brandian RossAug 31 09:22p

The Miami Dolphins have claimed CB Brandian Ross off waivers from the Oakland Raiders.

Mickey ShulerAug 31 09:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have claimed TE Mickey Shuler off waivers from the Atlanta Falcons.

Damaris JohnsonAug 31 09:12p

The Houston Texans have claimed OT Jeff Adams off waivers from the Tennessee Titans, WR Damaris Johnson from the Philadelphia Eagles and CB Darryl Morris from the San Francisco 49ers.

LaRon ByrdAug 31 09:02p

The Cleveland Browns have claimed WR LaRon Byrd off waivers from the Dallas Cowboys, OT Caylin Hauptmann from the Seattle Seahawks and RB Glenn Winston from the San Francisco 49ers.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group