NFL Network’s ‘NFL Total Access Kickoff’ Notes & Quotes — Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons

NFL Total Access Kickoff aired from outside the Georgia Dome tonight at 6:00 PM ET on NFL Network, with host Rich Eisen and analysts Michael Irvin, Marshall Faulk and Steve Mariucci providing pregame analysis leading up to Buccaneers-Falcons on Thursday Night Football.

CBS’ Tony Gonzalez’s Interview with Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Matt Ryan

Former Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez sat down with his former teammate, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.

On how he has developed throughout his career:

“I’m set in my ways, I’m stubborn, I like things done a certain way, and I’ve realized that my way isn’t always the best way. Sometimes other people have really good perspective on how things should be done. Six-plus years into my career, I’ve got a better pulse on what works for other guys and what’s the best way to get the most out of those guys.”

On what he is saying to his teammates in the huddle:

“My big thing has always been just do your job. In that situation, do your job. If you do your job, we’re going to win. In those situations, there is no doubt in anybody’s mind that we’re going to find a way to get it done. In order to be successful, I think that’s the way you have to think.”

On if the Super Bowl is the expectation for the team this year:

“That’s the expectation every year. If you don’t have that in your mindset, you might as well not show up. We have a long way to go in order to get there but we certainly have high expectations for what we’re capable of doing.”

On what he wants people to say about him after his career:

“He brought a championship to Atlanta. There’s not much else that really, really drives me besides trying to win a championship. I want to be the guy to do it.”

To view the entire interview with Ryan, visit:

http://on.nfl.com/YWn6LX

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Atlanta Falcons Pregame Quotes:

“If they can get that done with Jake Matthews coming in and protecting Matt Ryan, he can be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL I am absolutely convinced. With the weapons that he has, Julio Jones, Roddy White, Harry Douglas and with the addition of Devin Hester…I think the sky’s the limit on what this offense can do.” – Tony Gonzalez on Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan

“It’s going to be huge because that’s how you get the most out of a guy like Matt Ryan and all of those players that he has catching the ball for him. You have to keep that defense honest.” – Tony Gonzalez on the importance of the running game for the Atlanta Falcons

“They will turn it around, and they’re going to do it slowly and they’re going to do it gradually in Lovie [Smith’s] way. He’s laying the foundation of how he wants to play football in all three phases…When this team starts to come together and get healthy, they’re going to be a force to be reckoned with.” – Steve Mariucci on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

“Right now that passing game is ranked 31st in the National Football League. That is where the most improvement must happen. Josh McCown, it falls right on his back.” – Michael Irvin on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense

“If they’re going to get on track here, it starts with Bobby Rainey…They must feature a run game and then all of the play-action and down the field stuff is going to be open for them.” – Marshall Faulk on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

“They have four running backs. You can’t split the ball between four running backs. Two guys have to step up and you’re lucky if you have a third.”Marshall Faulk on the Atlanta Falcons running back situation

Quick Quotes:

“You talk about a leader, you talk about the heart and soul of a football team – that’s exactly what Brandon Marshall is right now for the Chicago Bears.” – Michael Irvin on Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall

“He is going to be a winner. But what has to happen is Jay Gruden can’t call the same type of game plan that he called for RGIII. He has to call a different type of game plan.” – Marshall Faulk on Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins

“They shouldn’t be concerned because Drew Brees is going to play better and the mistakes that they are making on defense are mental mistakes. It’s not [that] you don’t have the personnel or physically you’re getting beat up. They’re just making silly mental mistakes that you cannot make on the road. ”Marshall Faulk on the 0-2 New Orleans Saints

“There’s a fine line between the very good, which is Julius Thomas, and the great, which is Antonio Gates. It’s not just about knowing how to get open, it’s knowing when to be open and knowing there’s a spot to get to. What you saw out of Antonio Gates is crafty play at the tight end position.”Michael Irvin on San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates and Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas

“[Demaryius Thomas] is making a statement this week: you got me in the Super Bowl, you will not get me again.” – Michael Irvin on Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas on facing the Seattle Seahawks

On NFL.com the following video clips from NFL Total Access Kickoff are available for viewing:

– Does Matt Ryan Have Enough Support to Win 10 Games? – Former Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez joins NFL Total Access Kickoff in Atlanta to talk about his old team:

http://on.nfl.com/1ufNwl1

– Will the Washington Redskins Win with Kirk Cousins? – The NFL Total Access Kickoff crew discusses if the Washington Redskins can win with quarterback Kirk Cousins:

http://on.nfl.com/1mhVStP

 

NEXT WEEK ON THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:

NEW YORK GIANTS AT WASHINGTON REDSKINS — 8:25 PM ET

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