Tony Gonzalez: A tight end par excellence
The old scouting reports were full of superlatives
Excellent hands. Makes catches in traffic. Runs well after the catch. Hard worker. Leader.
These are the qualities of the man who would become arguably the greatest tight end in NFL history, Tony Gonzalez, who this week joins safety Ed Reed, center Kevin Mawae, cornerbacks Champ Bailey and Ty Law and team executives Pat Bowlen and Gil Brandt as the newest inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the enshrinement ceremonies air live from Canton, Ohio, Saturday, Aug. 3, on ESPN.
There are certainly the laurels to back up the argument. He’s the career leader for a tight end in receptions (1,325), most reception yards (15,127), most seasons with 1,000-plus yards receiving (tied with four) and most consecutive seasons with 70-plus receptions (11). Additionally, he’s second on the all-time list for overall receiving yards (behind Jerry Rice) and is tied for second for most consecutive games with at least one reception with 211. He also holds a slew of records with the Kansas City Chiefs, the team he played for from 1997-2008. And in his 17-year career (which also included a 2009-13 stint with the Atlanta Falcons), he missed only two games. Out of 272.
If there’s a blemish on his record, it’s the fact that he saw very little postseason action, seven games in 17 years, and made no Super Bowl appearances. But that is hardly a reflection on the player.
As far as his fans and Canton are concerned, Tony Gonzalez is one of the game’s greats and as of this week he’ll have the gold jacket to prove it.