Where’s The Beef ………. ?

Where’s The Beef ….. ?

By tophatal

Well it seems crazy that the self absorbed NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus seeks a home for perhaps his most high profiled client in Terrelle Owens while the accomplishments of one of the league’s most accomplished players seems to go unnoticed and un-praised . Atlanta Falcons’ tight end Tony Gonzalez joined a select band of players when he caught his 1,104th career reception. Only six other players in NFL history have caught in excess of 1,000 passes and all have had illustrious careers within the league. Jerry Rice the alltime career receptions and touchdowns leader has astonishing 1,549 receptions and 207 touchdowns and if that were not enough the Superbowl MVP , three time Superbowl winner is enshrined in the Hall of Fame , in Canton , Ohio. From that esteemed septuplet to have reached that millennium mark also are Cris Carter , Tim Brown , Isaac Bruce , Terrelle Owens and Marvin Harrison . Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver Hines Ward at some point this season should become the eighth player to have reached that impressive mark of 1,000 career receptions in the NFL . Ward , currently has an impressive and gaudy 980 catches to go alongside 86 career touchdowns .


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I sometimes wonder many of these analysts and alleged journalists who cover the NFL how it is that they believe that they are representative of their craft when all the time all they are ever in search for is something controversial , rather than informative and insightful with their craft. Never mind the ass kissing that seems to be part and parcel within the broadcast outlets such as Fox , CBS , ABC/ESPN and NBC . Is there a chance that these pompous assholes can ever take their jobs seriously , rather than acting like prepubescent school boys who’ve seen their first nude photograph ? But that would be too a high a praise to heap upon these buffoons as they are probably flaccid and suffering from some sort of erectile dysfunction. There you go Mark Schlereth , Chris Mortensen , Merrill Hoge , Jon Gruden , Jason Whitlock and Skip Bayless !

Tony Gonzalez a first round draft pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1997 the player has established himself as one of the premier players at the tight end position in the NFL. And most certainly one of the alltime greats who I would genuinely place along such luminaries as Shannon Sharpe , Kellen WinslowSr,. and Ozzie Newsome who have perhaps made that position their very own. In today’s league alongside the renowned tight end making a name for themselves we have Jermichael Finley of the Green Bay Packers , Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots , his teammate Rob Gronkowski , Jason Witten , Jimmy Graham and seasoned veteran Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers .

You can’t but admire Tony Gonzalez’s career from afar and the player has been the epitome of class even when it seemed that the Kansas City Chiefs ebbed and flowed under the coaching of Dick Vermeil . The former Chiefs’ coach as we now went on to considerable success with the St Louis Rams guiding them to their lone Superbowl win over that establishment’s history. And though Gonzalez’s career flourished and floundered with the franchise his amassing the greater part of his statistics with the team . He now now seems to be rejuvenated under Mike Smith , his coaching staff and a quarterback in Matt Ryan who’s yearning to win . When the player was acquired by the Falcons in 2009 I felt it would certainly make the Atlanta Falcons a legitimate contender for the Superbowl within the NFC . However, it has been Ryan’s inconsistency in the playoffs that has plagued the team since his arrival in the NFL . Now with the plethora of offensive weapons at his disposal it is hoped that he and the team can make a creditable push for postseason honors .

If Matt Ryan cannot succeed with players such as Roddy White , Michael Turner and Gonzalez , himself , then questions will have to asked of the young quarterback. There’s no denying that the player is capable of leading this team but whether or not he is the signal caller many believe him to be . Well it would appear that the jurors are still out on that subject before they render a decision .

The NFC South where the Atlanta Falcons reside alongside Carolina Panthers , New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers . That division is a highly competitive one and could surmise that they can lay the claim that they currently have the best quartet of teams in all eight divisions of the NFL .

It should come as no surprise that the high flying New Orleans Saints at 5-2 followed jointly by Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers each at 4-3 with the lowly Carolina Panthers 2-5 bringing up the rear . Now while Cam Newton has been setting the league alight with his exhilarating displays this Panthers’ team under coach Ron Rivera has struggled in terms of overall consistency . For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and coach Raheem Morris the issues facing his team is actually having enough active starters who are not injured . With the loss of LeGarrette Blount and Earnest Graham from an offensive standpoint this hampers the Buccaneers and their running attack and the opportunities for quarterback Josh Freeman .

The NFC South has now become a division , that each given week with the teams in play just about anything is liable to happen . And no doubt when each of the residents within meet up for that combustible divisional match up the fans are usually given a thrilling display. And for the Atlanta Falcons they know that their schedule proves to be no different especially in light of their divisional foes . Week 8 gives the team a bye before they then embark upon the rest of that daunting 2011 calendar schedule. However, in week 10 they face off against the New Orleans Saints , week 14 sees them taking on the Carolina Panthers , week 16 they are the guests of the Saints and the New Orleans Superdome , New Orleans , Louisiana , before ending their season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 17 at the Georgia Dome , in Atlanta , Georgia ,.


Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) pulls in a reception during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011. AP Photo/Rick Osentoski ….

One could surmise that given the play of Drew Brees and his Saints’ teammates the race for the division is already over , albeit that we’re only seven weeks into the NFL season. Were it not for the injuries sustained by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers I would say that we would witnessing a three horse race within the division ! The New Orleans Saints on paper would appear to be the class of the NFC South , and you could give credence to that premise . But between now and until the end of the season just about anything could very well happen. A miscue consequential losses and things suddenly get turned upside down and on its ear . Thankfully , I can look at the NFC South and simply state that it has a great deal more going for it than the allegedly esteemed NFC East ! One simply has to look at the poor play and the inconsistency of the teams there to realize that , although the New York Giants seem to be playing with the resolve not seen from the team in quite a while . That if anything has more to do with the defensive presence of the team’s secondary and in particular the play of Osi Umenyiora . Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell should be the individual on the coaching staff upon which the praise ought to heaped upon alongside Tom Coughlin .


Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) runs off the field after their 23-16 win over the Detroit Lions in an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio …

The NFL much like its NBA counterpart has become driven by the characters rather than the teams themselves. But while the football’s season is one of a mere 16 game schedule and a postseason that in its immediacy ends with a one and done concept . That clearly is not the case with NBA . Furthermore , the players in the NBA can simply play with a lax attitude knowing full well the penchant of the NBA hierarchy and team owners have a tendency to shoot themselves in the as the power they ( union/players) have over that body is powerful enough to dictate policy . One could hardly say that would be the case within the NFL , not in light of the recent events that have taken place concerning their labor issues. A compromise had to be reach rather than the league hierarchy and NFLPA (union) sinking the league into a morass that they might never have successfully recovered from .



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have as to the points raised within this piece and in particular with regard to the career of Tony Gonzalez ? And how do you view things panning out for the teams within the NFC South ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit .


Picture and slide show details .

(1) DETROIT – OCTOBER 23: Roddy White (84) of the Atlanta Falcons catches an 18 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Ryan (2) in the second quarter of the NFL game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 23, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Falcons would go on to defeat the Lions 23-16 Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images ….

(2) Michael Turner (33) of the Atlanta Falcons looks to get around the tackle of Amari Spievey (42) of the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 23, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Atlanta won the game 23-16. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images …

(3) Quarterbacks Matt Ryan (2) of the Atlanta Falcons and Matthew Stafford (9) of the Detroit Lions shake hands after the game at Ford Field on October 23, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Falcons defeated the Lions 23-16. Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images ….

(4) Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) is stopped by Detroit Lions outside linebacker Bobby Carpenter , rear, during the third quarter of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio …..

(5) Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) pulls in a reception during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011. AP Photo/Rick Osentoski …..

(6) Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) runs off the field after their 23-16 win over the Detroit Lions in an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio ….

(7) Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith celebrates a 23-16 win over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 23, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images …..


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NFL tight ends and their stats this season

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Falcons’ teams statistics 2011

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Tony Gonalez’s career stats

Tony Gonzalez’s bio

Players taken alongside Tony Gonzalez ( 13th overall pick in the 1st round) in the 1997 NFL Draft include Orlando Pace , Bryant Westbrook , Walter Jones , James Farrior , Jake Plummer , Marcellus Wiley , Corey Dillon and Sam Madison to name but a few .


NFL all-time reception leaders

NFL all-time career touchdown leaders

NFL all time career receiving yards

Let The Fun And Games Begin ……….. When You’re Ready Please NFL ?

Let The Fun And Games Begin ……….. When You’re Ready Please NFL ?

It’s been pretty much an offseason of discontent within the NFL with the owners , players and league hierarchy suddenly realizing that the start of the season is merely around the corner . Never mind the fact that teams haven’t really been able to conduct their OTA’s at their respective training facilities . In that respect the whole preseason and initial start of the regular season due to begin on the 8thd September could very well offer the fans a product that could be so bland and meaningless that it might have us wondering whether or not it wasn’t worth completely abandoning the season altogether . No one wants to see an on field product that by three or four three that could be so out of sync and mediocre that given the fact that the fans will be asked to pay a sizable sum to witness this all . And if as is being proposed we could very well see a preseason that will have to forgo two of the four scheduled games then any sort semblance of cohesiveness could very well be something that the fans are not liable to see at all .


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With that in mind of all the teams that I witnessed over the course of last season none more so than the Atlanta Falcons had me wondering how good could this team really be . Granted , their postseason foray ended somewhat abruptly but I put that down to more inexperience more than anything else . The team’s coach Mike Smith and his coaching staff seem to have found that semblance of cohesion and consistency that many teams yearn for in the league but so few are able to find it . Having won the NFC South rather comfortably, posting a 13-3 record within the league . Many felt that the team led my their Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Ryan could very well have pulled off a major surprise during the postseason. This season if anything a great deal is expected from this team and in particular by their erstwhile fans . The era of Michael Vick is long gone and but a distant and quickly fading memory . Team owner Arthur Blank and the front office headed by GM Rich McKay know that they were fortuitous not only in the hiring of Mike Smith as the team coach but also in their drafting of Matt Ryan .

I’ve no doubt that this season could very well see this team prove to be dominant but that being said I also believe that the NFC South could very well be a highly competitive division. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers , alongside the New Orleans Saints should prove to be formidable and with the Carolina Panthers no doubt looking to their overall number one pick from this year’s draft Cam Newton to simply show the Panthers’ fans what he’s made of . Who knows where the season could very well take us ?

Rich McKay and the scouting department made some prudent choices in the NFL Draft that will prove to be productive for the Falcons’ organization as a whole . And with those selections being strategically rendered with there being an assortment of offense and defense to bolster the needs of the team . The prize pick was wide receiver Julio Jones who will no doubt compliment what is already a formidable offensive presence alongside Michael Turner , Roddy White , Tony Gonzalez and Brian Finneran . And from a defensive standpoint this team can only get better as they being to gel more as a cohesive unit . But in retrospect it does all come down to have a balance on both sides of the ball and here too the Falcons aren’t necessarily lacking as the offense when having found its rhythm can be as good as any within the league .

Now would it be remiss to suggest that the Atlanta Falcons are not good enough to be considered amongst the NFC favorites for the Superbowl ? I think that perhaps not given that no one could really have foreseen the Green Bay Packers coming out of the NFC as conference champions much less wining the title itself . If anything all eyes were perhaps on the New Orleans Saint or Chicago Bears from last year as it related to the postseason. I read with interest where a fellow blogger within this medium suggested that the next young quarterback within the league who is on the cusp of leading a team and actually winning the Superbowl will be the Bears’ Jay Cutler . Yes the that Jay Cutler who essentially baulked and walked away from his team when they needed him most . For all of Brian Urlacher’s traits , facing reality doesn’t seem to be one of those , especially in light of the player coming to his quarterback’s defense by saying that ‘…..Cutler was a warrior and one of the hardest working players in the league as well as one of the best players at the position in the entire NFL’ . Obviously Urlacher hadn’t been taking much note of what happened in the Bears’ meltdown and their subsequent 21-14 loss to the Packers much of which could be squarely placed on Jay Culter’s shoulders for the team’s demise in the NFC title game .

As to the ongoing impasse between the league and NLFPA I would certainly like to be optimistic with regard to what I have been hearing via the various news sources . But given the fact that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has handled this situation with about as much precision as a one armed individual being asked to juggle an explosive device . I think that it’s pretty safe to say that this episode is far from over as it relates to the present work stoppage . For all of the pontificating , finger pointing and in the end so called accord that we are now seeing from all sides with Goodell and his union counterpart DeMaurice Smith of the NFLPA issuing a joint statement focusing on the two sides close to reaching an accord , I for one won’t believe it until I hear that an agreement has been reached , a binding contract signed and we are told the league will indeed begin its regular season schedule on time . Anything short of that I will still deem to be a complete failure !



Picture gallery for your perusal .

Simply chime in with a comment as to your thoughts raised within this piece and thanks as always for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated .

Alan aka tophatal …………… https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .


(1) FILE – This May 24, 2011, file photo shows Atlanta Falcons rookie receiver Julio Jones, left, greeting quarterback Matt Ryan before an informal football workout, in Buford, Ga. Ryan and Jones haven’t let the NFL lockout stop them from beginning a new friendship. AP Photo/David Goldman …..

(2) NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 28: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) poses for a photo with Julio Jones, #6 overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images ………

(3) Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton, rear, looks on as teammate Steve Smith, center, calls a play at his youth football camp in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, June 17, 2011. It was another bonding experience for what will be one of the most scrutinized quarterback-receiver combinations in the NFL _ if Smith stays in Carolina. AP Photo/Chuck Burton ……

(4) Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, right, talks with Jerry Richardson, owner of the Carolina Panthers, as they arrive for meetings in Rosemont, Ill., Tuesday, June 21, 2011. Owners gathered to discuss the status of negotiations with the players for a new collective bargaining agreement. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh ……

(5) Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy shows off his Super Bowl ring Thursday, June 16, 2011, in Green Bay, Wis., after the NFL football team’s ring ceremony at Lambeau Field. AP Photo/Mike Roemer …..

(6) NFL commissioner Roger Goodell with team owners and legal counsel for the league . Getty Images/ Hannah Foslien ……

(7) Sam Shields (37_ of the Green Bay Packers intercepts the game’s final pass and runs for 32-yards to seal the 21-14 victory for the Packers against the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America ….

(8) Quarterback Jay Cutler (6 ) of the Chicago Bears celebrates his six-yard touchdown run with Devin Hester (23) against the Seattle Seahawks in the second quarter of the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Soldier Field on January 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Johnathan Daniel / Getty Images …….

(9) After a failed coaching experiment four years ago, Falcons owner Arthur Blank, left, is thrilled with the job Mike Smith, right, has done with the team. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images …..


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