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

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Brandon BrownerOct 30 04:32p

New England Patriots DT Alan Branch (non-injury related) and DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Nate Ebner (finger), DL Dominique Easley (knee), OL Cameron [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 30 04:22p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) and OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DT Domata Peko (toe) and OT Andre Smith [ More ]

Dwight FreeneyOct 30 04:22p

San Diego Chargers LB Manti Te'o (foot), CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) and S Jahleel Addae (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) was limited. CB [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 30 04:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) practiced fully Thursday, Oct. 30.

Terrell SuggsOct 30 04:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (foot) and LB Terrell Suggs (neck) all did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Marshal Yanda (knee) [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 30 03:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) and SS Ross Ventrone (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and FS [ More ]

Bruce CarterOct 30 03:22p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (finger) suffered a broken ring finger during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, but expects to play in Week 9. He will wear a splint on his finger for protection.

Cullen JenkinsOct 30 03:12p

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back, hamstring) and P Steve Weatherford (ankle) were both limited in practice.

Brandon BoykinOct 30 03:12p

Philadelphia Eagles FS Nate Allen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. TE Brent Celek (back) and WR Brad Smith (groin) were both limited in practice. CB [ More ]

D'Qwell JacksonOct 30 03:12p

Indianapolis Colts LB D'Qwell Jackson (toe), DT Arthur Jones (ankle), LB Erik Walden (quadriceps) and LB Josh McNary (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Vontae [ More ]

Rashad JenningsOct 30 02:42p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) said he is on track in terms of his rehab, but there is no timetable for his return. Jennings said he has [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 02:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Anthony CollinsOct 30 02:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Oniel Cousins is working at left tackle with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, because OT Anthony Collins (foot) is sitting out practice.

Doug MartinOct 30 02:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Jason VerrettOct 30 01:52p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) is expected to miss two to three weeks with a torn labrum, according to two sources.

DeAngelo WilliamsOct 30 01:52p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (ankle) will start the team's Week 9 game against the New Orleans Saints Thursday, Oct. 30, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 01:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) received most of the work with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, and will start in Week 9 if he [ More ]

Jaylen WatkinsOct 30 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles SS Earl Wolff, FS Chris Maragos and CB Jaylen Watkins could be options to start at safety if FS Nate Allen (hamstring) is not able to play in Week 9.

Giovani BernardOct 30 01:22p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 01:02p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) didn't take part in the walk-through Thursday, Oct. 30, and will not practice with the team. However, head coach Jason Garrett remains hopeful [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Reggie WayneOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 12:22p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's (back) status is making head coach Jason Garrett feel optimistic about his availability for Week 9.

Dallas ThomasOct 30 11:43a

Miami Dolphins OG Dallas Thomas would be the most likely candidate to start at left guard if OG Daryn Colledge (illness) is not able to play in Week 9.

Rashad JenningsOct 30 11:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) has been ruled out for Week 9.

Phil BatesOct 30 10:52a

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent WR Phil Bates (Seahawks) to the practice squad and released CB Marcus Cromartie Thursday, Oct. 30.

Charles SimsOct 30 10:13a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims could have 10 or more touches in Week 9, in the opinion of beat writer Greg Auman.

Ryan MathewsOct 30 09:52a

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) is likely to sit out of the Week 9 game and return after the Week 10 bye.

Dennis PittaOct 30 09:52a

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) may never be able to play football again after two surgeries on a fractured and dislocated hip in as many seasons.

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