Transcript: Tony Gonzalez AM post-practice interview


On practicing with another team

"It is great. Nothing against Jacksonville, or any other team, but when you go against the New England Patriots you are going against one of the best teams in the NFL. It is good to see where you stack up. It is nice and it is a luxury. It is something that the players look forward to, and it gets their juices flowing. It gets us out of that straight routine we have been doing every single day. It is good to go against another team and get a good look."

On Thursday night's game

"The main focus for someone who has been around awhile is to stay healthy as you can. It is also good for the young guys to go out there and work in that preseason game. I am excited about seeing these young guys go out there and compete, and for the old guys to get their timing back while staying healthy."

On the competition level in the AFC

"Oh, it is high. Every time we have played against [New England] them it has been tough. I don't think I have ever won against them in all my years. I respect the hell out of that team. They are well coached and they have great players. It is just great to go against someone to see how they stack up and to see what they do. Maybe you can take something from them and make it apart of your game. We just want to try and get better as a team."

On Patriots' rookie tight ends

"First of all, at the tight end position you have to be a complete tight end. You can't just be a receiving tight end, or just a blocking tight end. You have to do both things at a pretty high level. You can do one a little bit better, but something I tell every player coming into the League is that 'you get out of it what you put into it.' It is not about what you do at practice it is about what you do before practice and after practice. If you are one of those guys who goes straight in after the horn rings to shower and go home then I don't think you can be ever as good as you could be."

On Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez

"I have watched both tight ends, and they are rookies so they are still learning this game. I do see a future for them. Hernandez with the receiving part of it has got that down. He can keep improving on that. If you are going to be a tight end, and you want to be called a tight end, then you better learn how to block. That is what the position is. With the other tight end I think he has a pretty good receiving game and he has got the blocking pretty good."

On playing against the Patriots

"They do a lot of double teaming. [Patriots Head Coach Bill]Belichick knows me by now. We always kid with each other when he sees me. He always says 'Hey double 88.' He is a genius coming up with those defensive schemes. But, that is the beauty of this offense that I love. Even if you do take me away you still have players like WR Julio Jones, RB Devonta Freeman, and WR Michael Jenkins. QB Matt [Ryan] is going to be able to distribute the ball. We try and be as balanced as we can, so if you take away one of our guys, you won't be able to take them all away."

On QB Matt Ryan's improvement

"He is looking great. He is doing really well. He has really improved and I am happy with the way he is going. Just got to keep him healthy, and the sky is the limit with him. It is just a matter of when and not if. He will be one of the best. It is just about getting that experience. It is coming every single day."

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