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Transcript: Tony Gonzalez Locker Room Interview

On being ready for the regular officials to be back:

"After that call, yeah (On Monday Night). I'm pretty happy about it. That was the kicking point for the NFL, I'm sure. The fans, the players, something had to be done, so I'm glad they could come to an agreement. It never altered the way I prepared or played the game. You have to go out there and take care of your half and hopefully, they can take care of their half as far as the replacements. Now, it's over, so it's moot and we can move on and get back to more bad calls by refs because it's not going to stop (smiling). It won't be as big as it was."

On being concerned about the control of games and this being bigger than those guys could handle:

"The games slowed down. The game we played in, that Monday night game, was almost four hours or whatever it was. It was one of the longest games I've ever played in. Like I said, it happened it's over, and we're going to move on, and we're going to go play. I'm sure these refs are going to come in, and they'll probably get a standing ovation when they show up. I'm glad that it's over and we can get back to playing the game how it's supposed to be played."

On being concerned about player safety:

"I was never worried about player safety because if anything they were going to call it on the conservative side. If it was even close to questioning a player's safety, they were going to throw the flag. I think guys were a little upset, saying that wasn't roughing the passer or a hit to the head, that was a legal hit. That was one thing I knew they weren't going to screw that up, at least in my mind. I couldn't see them doing that."

On the opening drives being so successful:

"There are a lot of reasons. We're very efficient in our preparation. You have to give a lot of credit to the offensive line for protecting Matt so he can make those plays down the field. Matt's just been on fire. It's pretty much we just go out there and get open. It's all of us working on the same page and we take satisfaction in that, but at the same time in the second half we have to be able to come out and score. That's one thing where we're lacking right now. We're going to be happy with the positive and we've got to get better in the second half."

On how dangerous this Panthers team is after playing the team so tough last year:

"Obviously, the stakes are little bit higher being NFC League opponents. It's going to be a big game for us because they can play. They're a way better team than they were last year. It's going to be important for us to go out there and keep doing what we've been doing and get better. Otherwise, we could fall short."

On how well the players have clicked with the new coordinators:

"The adjustments, really, I applaud Dirk for doing it. He came in and learned the offense. We didn't have to learn his offense. He put his little touches on there and his simplifications on it I guess. It's worked out great for us. He impacts Matt (Ryan) the most because he's in the room for him every day and he's an ex-quarterback coach. He knows how to do it. He's getting us in the right position to go out there and be successful."

On allowing yourself to start thinking about the playoffs:

"Not at all. That would be foolish to think about it, at this point. I've been telling everyone that comes up and says congratulations or you guys are on your way and I'm like look, there are 13 games we could still lose. It's important for us to put that out of our mind and take it one game at a time. That's what we will do."

On waiting until you clinch:

"Even then though, I don't think getting to the playoffs is just the goal for this team, at least I hope it isn't and I don't think it is. We have big aspirations. We want to play in the final game of the season. That's the goal, but we know we have to win this week in order to get there. We're not going to look ahead. We're going to stay in the moment and enjoy it. Why look ahead? Let's enjoy this preparation. Let's enjoy going out there and playing the Carolina Panthers and hopefully we come out on top."

On anything else being on your NFL bucket list that you're trying to do:

"Well, 100 touchdowns would be kind of cool, but after that my bucket list is playing in the final game of the season for the NFL. Hopefully, we can get that done. That's more important to me than anything else."

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