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'no Complaints' For Falcons Tight End Tony Gonzalez


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http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/29/3787386/no-complaints-for-falcons-tight.html

'No complaints' for Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez

BY MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM

THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Tony Gonzalez, probably the best tight end in NFL history, won't play in a Super Bowl.

Gonzalez, who returned to play one more season after considering retirement after 2012, won't even get a chance to earn his second playoff victory in 17 seasons. The Falcons (2-9) are mathematically eliminated from making the playoffs with five games to go.

What was supposed to be one last run at the Super Bowl before Gonzalez retires instead has turned into playing out the string. Gonzalez thus has been confronted with the reality of the end of his career sooner than expected, but he said he has no regrets.

"I can't complain about anything," Gonzalez said. "Obviously, the Super Bowl - I'm sure those questions are going to be asked a lot more as it gets closer to the end. But for me, why would I want to change anything? "Of course I want to win a Super Bowl, but at the same time I'm very happy with what I've accomplished and the relationships I've made over the years. Everything happens for a reason, and hopefully it makes me a better person in the process."

Gonzalez, 37, said he has played football for close to 30 years. Unless he's voted to the Pro Bowl, which is a possibility, his final game will be Dec. 29 against the Panthers at the Georgia Dome.

The end of football is near for Gonzalez, and he said he thinks about it "all the time ... every day." "I'm never going to be able to put on these pads again," he said. "It's a good, thing, too. It's going to be sad, but at the same time, it's going to be enlightening. It's a whole new chapter waiting for me. I can say that I'm going to enjoy these last five weeks."

Gonzalez said he's tried to mentor the Falcons' other tight ends, rookie Levine Toilolo and fourth-year veteran Chase Coffman. He said the key to his success and longevity was developing a routine and "being obsessed with the small details" about playing the position such as proper footwork.

"Everybody has talent at this level," Gonzalez said. "What separates you is consistency and doing it well day in and day out. You can't take one day off. Hopefully that they've figured out. It's what's worked for me, and I know it can work for them."

Gonzalez said his routine has allowed him to focus on his job and not get too emotional about his career coming to an end.

"At the same time, I want to be a little emotional," he said. "I want to enjoy it. It's been great. It's been a fun ride."

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/29/3787386/no-complaints-for-falcons-tight.html#storylink=cpy

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