Week 7 of the 2020 FOX NFL season kicked off today with a singleheader of 1:00 PM ET games with Green Bay at Houston, Dallas at Washington, Carolina at New Orleans, Detroit at Atlanta and the lone 4:05 PM ET game, Tampa at Las Vegas.
Earlier today, FOX NFL KICKOFF and FOX NFL SUNDAY analysts and insiders weighed in on the day’s biggest games, moments and storylines.
In addition, Tony Gonzalez sat down with Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan to discuss his long-term impact in Atlanta.
Strahan on Antonio Brown’s Return
Bradshaw on Titans-Steelers
Gonzalez on Antonio Brown
Glazer on Bruce Arians and Antonio Brown
Vick on Colts LB Darius Leonard
Johnson on the Cowboys
Tony Gonzalez’s One-on-One with Matt Ryan
Gonzalez: During everything that’s been happening over the last six months, you were one of the first people to speak out against social injustice. What prompted you to do that?
Ryan: “Right after George Floyd had been killed, we had this team meeting where it was an open forum. One of the things that continued to come up was that teammates wanted the support of white players and not silent support. We’re in a city that’s really at the forefront of the civil rights movement in the United States; that it was time for white players and myself — specifically in the position that I was in — to speak up and let people know this isn’t right and the status quo is not good enough. We decided to create a GoFundMe account that has raised over 1.3 million bucks right now, and we decided to direct those funds into the direction of the afternoon programs in the city of Atlanta and really to try to fight inequality where it starts and at the beginning.”
Gonzalez: I think you being a white quarterback in a historically black city that’s at the forefront of everything especially when it comes to equality… I just want to tell you, I commend you, Matt.
Ryan: “I appreciate it man.”
Gonzalez: Was the locker room angry? Was it sad (on the firing of head coach Dan Quinn)? What was the feeling?
Ryan: “I think a mixed set of emotions. There were some guys probably angry, some guys upset, some guys going to miss him moving forward, but my message to the guys was we can’t feel sorry for ourselves and just toss it in. We have to turn this thing around right now.”
Gonzalez: You have the talent to do that. You’ve got Julio (Jones), you’ve got Calvin Ridley, you’ve got Todd Gurley. How good can this offense be?
Ryan: “I think we can be pretty good. The record is one thing but I think we’ve proven through six games that when there aren’t self-inflicted wounds, we can go down the field and move the ball very effectively and we can score a lot of points.”
Gonzalez: Looking around the NFC South, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, they’re old guys. Are you one of those guys who wants to play deep into your 40s?
Ryan: “The older you get, the more you take it year to year. But number one, I still love playing, number two, I feel great, and number three, I’m hell-bent on trying to win a championship. All of those things keep me motivated to keep going, but who knows what’s going to happen in the future. But I still want to play.”
Gonzalez: It’s been a tough year. It’s really been a tough three years.
Ryan: “That’s hard. When you’re not winning, it’s tough. You have to constantly find ways to stay confident; to stay positive. That’s where I’ve tried to sink in the most and develop a hardness and mental toughness.”
Gonzalez: We all hated to see head coach Dan Quinn go. I know you guys had a pretty good relationship. How has that transition been?
Ryan: “I mean it’s tough. Any time you have a coaching transition, it’s tough. Dan is one of the best people you’ll ever meet, but we all recognize that this business is production-based. It’s weird, too, because this year’s just so different in terms of Covid-19 and your team meetings and stuff like that. Everything’s virtual so it sucks when somebody moves on and the only chance you get to say goodbye was virtually.”
Gonzalez: I remember when I came out to Atlanta, I was going into year 13. You’re in year 13. You thought I was old back then.
Ryan: “Man, I thought you were ancient.”
Gonzalez: Well look at you now. Look who’s laughing now. At that point in my career, I started to savor the moment.
Ryan: “It happened so fast. Right? Eleven years go by in a blink of an eye. I do think as you age, the losses become tougher because you realize you probably don’t have as many opportunities as you once did. The success and the day-to-day you probably enjoy even more so than you did when you were younger. You just don’t take it for granted as much.”
Gonzalez: I gotta bring it up. Mr. (Arthur) Blank has been non-committal to you long-term. Have you thought maybe I won’t be an Atlanta Falcon for my whole career?
Ryan: “Obviously I understand that when new regimes come in, new coaches, new front office, that there’s always a time where they’re going to want to figure out if you fit in to what they’re doing moving forward. I’d love to play here my entire career. There’s no question, but I also recognize you got to earn the right to be on the team year in and year out. You have to earn the right to be the quarterback on this team week in and week out. I don’t shy away from that at all.”