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Tony Gonzalez says Travis Kelce has a bright future, thinks Andy Reid should be in coach of year discussion

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I had the chance to talk with the great Tony Gonzalez today. Of course we talked about the Chiefs.

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Former Kansas City Chiefs end Tony Gonzalez is working with Marriott Rewards, which has a contest where you can upload photos and videos to MarriottRewardsMostPassionateFan.com for a chance to win a trip the Pro Bowl and meet Tony G. himself and other players.

I asked him this afternoon if he expected a Chiefs fan or two might win the trip, and he said he wouldn't be surprised to see Chiefs fans put up pictures of Jamaal Charles on there. Then he said he could catch up with Charles at the Pro Bowl before catching himself ... "Hopefully he won't be playing. He'll be in the Super Bowl."

Here's what your guy Tony G. told me today about the Chiefs....

What do you see from Travis Kelce?

Tony G: "He's certainly in that line of up-and-coming really, really good tight ends that's going to be a dominant force for the next 6-7 years if he can stay healthy from the things that I've heard from the people I still know out there in Chiefs land.

"I like him. He's a big strong guy, he's fast and he catches the ball really well. I wish they would give him the ball more (laughs). Maybe that's not part of the scheme but the way he plays he's such a mismatch in that lineup like a [Rob] Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham or Jordan Cameron. If you are going to be able to stay with him and guard him, just throw the ball up there and he'll go catch it.

"He has a bright future. It seems like he's arrived but he's only going to get even better. What is this his second or third year?"


John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

What are your impressions of the Chiefs this year?

Tony G: "They're outstanding right now and they're doing it with really, really smart intelligent football. and I think that starts with Andy Reid. You get a lot of talk around the league about who's going to be coach of the year. Bruce Arians is probably going to win that but at the same time Andy Reid's name needs to be in that discussion as well. You look at the injuries that happened to him, the receivers that he has. Not that they're bad receivers but there aren't too many big time receivers on the team. Dwayne Bowe is certainly a good one.

"What they've been able to do by playing smart football and not turning the football over. Alex Smith to me is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the NFL. It's all because he doesn't put big numbers up but at the same time he shows that if you go out there and play smart, to go along with that defense, make the throws when you have to, don't turn the ball over and just turn around and give it to Knile Davis and Jamaal Charles. The way [Charles is] playing right now, he's pretty much unstoppable at this point. They have a recipe for success that's working."


Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Is this the year the Chiefs break their playoff winless streak?

Tony G: "You don't have to remind me [how long it's been]. Last year they obviously came close. They should have won that game. They kind of had that meltdown courtesy of Andrew Luck.

"I believe if they keep the recipe up that they have now, just keep doing that and making that same dish every week. Play good defense, run that ball with Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis, Alex Smith not turning it over and making the throws when he has to, Dwayne Bowe being a consistent receiver, because he's a really good receiver but his problem has been inconsistency, then, yeah, I don't think they couldn't beat any team. They're a team out there loaded with talent.

"They get after the quarterback. That's great to have in a playoff game because usually when you get to the playoffs you're going against an elite caliber quarterback and you need to put pressure on quarterbacks to get them off that spot to get them out of that comfort zone. [Justin] Houston, Tamba Hali, [Allen] Bailey, Dontari Poe, those guys can push that pocket and create havoc on that opposing team's quarterback. Right now, they can go out and make some noise when it comes to the playoffs."

Broncos-Chiefs, Divisional playoffs, January 4, 1998. Were you in bounds?

*There was a controversial call in the Broncos-Chiefs 1998 playoff game on whether Tony G. was in bounds when he caught a touchdown pass. He was ruled out of bounds but plenty of Chiefs fans disagree. Nothing like bringing up old wounds, right?

Tony G: "I got one foot in and the guy pushed me out of bounds. They didn't have instant replay back then. So I don't really know. I felt like I was in bounds. Even then the rule had been changed where you can't be forced out of bounds. Now it's back to the rule where you can be forced out of bounds but it switched for 5-6 years. That always haunts me. I feel if we had won that game we could have won the Super Bowl that year because Denver went on to win the Super Bowl. That's the way the cookie crumbles."