No. Not that Tony.
The Chiefs have a new Tony in town and his name is Moeaki (pronounced Mo-ee-ah-key). While it wouldn’t be fair to even begin to compare the Chiefs rookie to former Chiefs great Gonzalez, there are hopes that the new Tony might make the absence of the old Tony a little bit more bearable.
According to reports, Moeaki has had a very good camp when he has been on the field. He shows good hands and very crisp route running. He is incredibly athletic and his skill should enable him to be a major safety blanket for QB Matt Cassel.
Yet the elephant in the room when discussing Moeaki is his injury history. He seemed to spend nearly his entire college career injured, suffering from a dislocated elbow, fractured hand, broken foot and various ankle and calf aliments. These injuries greatly reduced Moeaki’s college numbers and also hurt his draft stock. The Chiefs think, if he can stay healthy, they might have gotten Moeaki at a discount.
I had the pleasure of sitting down and chatting with Moeaki shortly before training camp and I couldn’t help but ask him about the injuries.
“I feel great, you know, I feel like that stuff was years and years ago. I’ve been healthy for a long time and I feel great. That is something that is behind me and I am looking forward.”
Moeaki returned to practice this week and promptly made his presence known by catching a 70 yard bomb from Chiefs QB Matt Cassel during Wednesday night’s practice. If Moeaki can make a play like that tomorrow night in Tampa, Chiefs fans might soon find their memories of number 88 getting a little fuzzy.
“I mean, obviously Tony Gonzalez played TE very well for the Chiefs,” Moeaki told me when I asked him about the former Chiefs.
” He’s a future Hall of Famer but you know, I’m just a rookie and I’m just trying to make the team. He has done ridiculous things in his career and I am just fortunate to be in the NFL period. I’m just going to work my butt off and see what happens.”