The NFL Network has been counting down the top 100 players of 2011 in recent weeks. Two Falcons made the list in the early running — defensive end John Abraham at No. 69 and quarterback Matt Ryan at No. 52.
This week, two more Falcons were added to the list when tight end Tony Gonzalez ranked in at No. 46 and running back Michael Turner landed in the No. 42 spot.
Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin spoke about Gonzalez during the legendary tight end's video presentation.
"I remember the first time I competed against him in person, I was a secondary coach for the Bucs," Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin said during the broadcast. "It was 2004, and he's one of those guys that's a little bigger than you think he is and he's a little bit faster than maybe you thought he was the first time you see him in person.
"Early in the game, he caught a ball down the middle on us. Jermaine Phillips hit him at the goal line — he was our thumper of a safety. Well, it shattered Jermaine Phillips' arm. He broke his arm on the play. Gonzalez scored and he gets up and dunks the ball on our goal post. That was my introduction to Gonzalez."
Turner, who led the NFC in rushing in 2010, becomes the fourth Falcons player to make the list, at No. 42.
"He's got thighs. I know you don't talk about men and thighs, but he's got thighs. To be a starting running back in the NFL and take that kind of pounding every single day, it takes a different kind of man," Houston Texans defensive end Adewale Ogunleye said.
"He's proven that he's able to be that guy, and I know they're happy to have them. He's kind of like a Jerome Bettis mixed in with maybe like a LaDainian Tomlinson."