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Posted: 1:05 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

Mike Check: Watch: Tony Gonzalez on 2013 Falcons: 'We needed to be tougher'

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By Michael Cunningham

Tony Gonzalez went on CBS Sports Network’s “That Other Pregame Show” and added his two cents to the toughness topic that’s been the talk of Falcons preseason. His opinion actually is worth a little more than two cents because Gonzalez was part of the 4-12 nosedive in 2013.

After that debacle, team owner Arthur Blank said the Falcons weren’t “as tough as we needed to be.” Coach Mike Smith keeps insisting his players are tough (most notably in a rant featured on HBO's 'Hard Knocks') because they are in the NFL, so how can they not be tough?

Let’s go to Gonzalez to break the tie. After Gonzalez tells the CBS Sports panelists that the Falcons are “going to be a good football team” this year, he’s asked if they need to get tougher. Said Gonzalez:

“I’ve been hearing that and if you watch the show, on ‘Hard Knocks,’ it seems that’s the emphasis that ‘Smitty’ is going into with this season. I will say this: I think we were tough last year but I did think we did need to be a little more (sic) tougher. Offense, defense, that whole team—our whole team, I was part of that—we needed to be tougher and I think that’s their emphasis this year. It’s going to show up this year, I guarantee it. “

So Gonzalez sides with those who think the Falcons weren't tough enough in 2013. It's good that he includes himself in that equation, seeing as he was the only sure-fire Hall of Famer on the roster, had 17 years in the league and was making $7 million. Then again, maybe Gonzalez could have helped the Falcons develop some toughness if he’d been at training camp laboring in the sun with the rest of his teammates rather than chilling at home in California.

Just sayin’.

I'm thinking the Falcons won't be taking up Gonzalez on his generous offer to re-join the team for the final two months of this season should they prove themselves worthy of his presence.

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