Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez has played in a lot of games, but he said he hasn't played in many as long as the team's Week 2 win over the Denver Broncos. That game dragged on and went slowly with confusion and a lack of preparedness from the NFL's replacement officials, and that was nothing compared to last Monday's Green-Bay Seattle debacle.
Needless to say, Gonzalez can be counted among the many in the league happy that the regular officials are back, as he said in quotes this week provided by the team:
"After that call, yeah (On Monday Night). I'm pretty happy about it," Gonzalez said. "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."
Now Gonzalez and the Falcons turn their attention to their first NFC opponent of the season, division-foe Carolina on Sunday. Gonzalez said the Panthers are a much better team than their 1-2 record indicates:
"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."