clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

49ers-Falcons: Defending Tony Gonzalez

A few weeks back we were discussing Seattle Seahawks TE John Carlson and defending him, given his abilities.  This week, the 49ers face a better tight end in a better offense, so that discussion takes on a whole new meaning.  Tony Gonzalez is what John Carlson aspires to be, and the Falcons' offense he's apart of has the ability to be rather filthy.  The rushing attack is struggling right now, which plays into the 49ers defensive wheelhouse.  The passing offense though is starting to click and with some of those weapons, it's going to be interesting to see who you covers which receiver.  They throw out Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White, Michael Jenkins, and even Marty Booker can catch you snoozing on occasion.

When the 49ers played Seattle, the team had to worry primarily about Carlson and TJ Houshmandzadeh in the passing game.  The question in tomorrow's game becomes how to handle Gonzalez amidst a potentially explosive passing attack.  Obviously Clements and Spencer will handle White and Jenkins.  The team has often had to send an extra blitzer to get pressure on the QB, whether it be Manny Lawson, Parys Haralson, Takeo Spikes or Patrick Willis.

Sending the blitzer can obviously leave a potential threat open.  Given the high profile nature of Tony Gonzalez, they'll certainly have someone covering him.  The best bet once again would seem to be Manny Lawson.  Of course, if he's being sent as a second or third blitzer, the 49ers best have somebody waiting in reserves.  We hear about Dashon Goldson's "ball-hawking" and "big-hitting" skills.  The question is whether he can cover a big talented tight end like Gonzalez.  I'd imagine we'll see Goldson covering Gonzalez on occasion.  Does that worry anybody?