Tony Gonzalez has a hard time believing Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is only entering his second NFL season. "He's definitely ahead of the curve," Gonzalez said of his new Atlanta teammate. "I'm very impressed by him. All the hype, it's real and it means something when you step out here on the field."
Gonzalez will practice Monday for the first time in full pads since the Falcons traded for him on April 23.
Simply put, Gonzalez considers Ryan the missing link to longtime goals still unaccomplished: winning a playoff game, a conference championship and a Super Bowl.
Ryan's ability to read defenses quickly, run the no-huddle and throw accurately separate him in Gonzalez's eyes.
"He knows exactly where everybody's going," Gonzalez said. "He knows where to put that ball, and he works hard. I think that's really the difference in what a great player is. Somebody that works hard. That's what separates some guys like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Those guys are constantly in the (film) room trying to get better, on the field and off the field."