So when Gonzalez, the first tight end to surpass 1,000 career catches, says he thinks New England rookies Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski have a future, he probably knows that he's talking about.
He threw in some advice for Hernandez as well.
"I have watched both tight ends, and they are rookies so they're still learning this game (but) I do see a future for them," he said. "Hernandez, with the receiving part of it, has got that down...If you are going to be a tight end, and you want to be called a tight end, then you better learn how to block. That is what the position is. With the other tight end (Gronkowski), I think he has a pretty good receiving game and he's got the blocking pretty good."
Atlanta had joint practices with Jacksonville last week, but Gonzalez said it was "a luxury" to face the Pats, which he called one of the best teams in the NFL.
"It's something that the players look forward to, and it gets their juices flowing," he said. "It gets us out of that straight routine we have been doing every single day. It's good to go another team and get a good look."