Tony Gonzalez is looking forward to seeing the Chiefs

FLOWERY BRANCH – For Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, facing the Kansas City Chiefs is more than just the exhibition season opener.

Gonzalez admits that when he takes the field at 8 p.m. Friday at the Georgia Dome, he's going to have to check his emotions.

"It's just going to fun, going out there and competing," Gonzalez said. "Seeing those jerseys and looking down at my own jersey and realizing that, it's going to be special actually."

Gonzalez, 34, spent 12 years of his stellar career with the Chiefs before being traded to the Falcons last year. He'll make his way to the other side of field to say hello to guard Brian Waters and safety Jarrad Page, a couple of his former teammates and survivors of the Chiefs' roster purge.

"There are some people that worked in the organization, even though [they] cleaned house there as well, it's going to be good to see them," Gonzalez said.

But once the game starts, Gonzalez, who will play a series or two, will be fine.

"This is for the young guys to show what they can do," said Gonzalez, who caught 83 passes last season. "I think by now, everybody knows what I can do."

For however long he plays, Gonzalez should be fun to watch.

"I know they are not going to slow down for me because I want to sit and enjoy myself. ... I'm playing my old team," he said.

And after two weeks of training camp, he's also looking forward to the live action.

"That first game, you've been working so hard, you just want to go against another team," Gonzalez said. "Guys are coming to tackle you now. Nobody is going to tag off."

While Gonzalez will have his mini-reunion, Falcons coach Mike Smith is set to start rookie linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, the team's first-round draft pick last spring. He will replace Mike Peterson, who's out with a sore calf muscle, at the weakside linebacker position.

Smith is hoping that the Falcons get tested in a couple of key situational areas. He wants to see how physically the team plays, after limited tackling in training camp. He also would like to see backup quarterback Chris Redman get a chance to run the two-minute offense.

Another key part of a game that the Falcons can't simulate in practice is the defense playing in a goal-line situation. One of the defense's points of emphasis this offseason was to improve in third-and-short situations while up against its own goal line.

"That's a situation that occurs about two times a game during the season," Smith said. "We have worked on it, but we haven't worked on it in a live situation where we have knocked a running back backwards while coming over the top of the pile."