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Chiefs’ Crennel ponders how to stop Tony Gonzalez

09/05/2012 11:50 AM

05/16/2014 7:37 PM

Tight end Tony Gonzalez caught hundreds of passes while playing for the Chiefs. On Sunday, for the first time ever, they’ll have to figure out a way to stop him.

Gonzalez comes back to Arrowhead Stadium with the Atlanta Falcons for the season opener, and Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel talked today about that challenge.

“He’s got size, he’s got speed, he’s got hands, he’s got savvy,’’ Crennel said. “He can pose a lot of problems, particularly with the other weapons they have. If you double (cover) Tony, then you leave the other guys singled up. If you single Tony, Tony can get open. You have to pick your poison and try to keep the opposing quarterback off balance and give him a couple different things to look at.’’

The Chiefs are like many NFL teams now in that they have a pair of tight ends who are capable pass receivers in Tony Moeaki and Kevin Boss. That movement was inspired by Gonzalez and his ability to threaten a defense from an unusual position.

“He was probably the leading edge of that transition to pass-catching tight ends,’’ Crennel said. “To do that, you have to have that ability, that tremendous ability, hand-eye coordination, great hands, that savvy about reading coverages and knowing how to get open, and Tony has all of that.’’

Meanwhile, Crennel said two injured Chiefs defensive players, cornerback Brandon Flowers and linebacker Derrick Johnson, would attempt to do more in practice than they did on Monday.

“That’s encouraging that guys want to play and are going to try to play,’’ Crennel said. “So I think they’re getting ready.’’

Crennel couldn’t define “more.’’

“Whatever they can do,’’ Crennel said. “They haven’t been able to do much at all, so if they can do anything, that’s more. I’m just excited they’re out there trying to do something.’’

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