San Francisco — Tony Gonzalez caught more passes for more yards and touchdowns than any other tight end in NFL history, but even he took a couple of years to adjust to the league.
The Lions hope Eric Ebron can one day provide close to the impact Gonzalez had in Kansas City and Atlanta, but the future Hall of Famer said the young tight end has a ways to go.
“From a talent perspective, he could be one of the best tight ends in the league,” Gonzalez said Monday at a Super Bowl media event featuring CBS broadcasters. “I don’t know who’s teaching him out there. I don’t know what his coach is telling him, but obviously, I would think that he needs to turn his routine around.”
The 10th overall pick in 2014, Ebron showed improvement in his second season, finishing with 47 catches for 537 yards and five touchdowns. Gonzalez was the 13th overall pick in 1997 and finished his second year with 59 catches for 621 yards and two touchdowns.
But Ebron has had issues with drops, something Gonzalez said comes from a lack of focus.
Now, Ebron will have the third position coach of his young career after working with Ron Prince in 2014 and the first half of 2015 and Devin Fitzsimmons the second half of 2015. The Lions hired Al Golden as the new tight ends coach on Monday.
“Whatever he’s doing, is not helping him be the best,” Gonzalez said of Ebron. “If he could figure out a routine that would help him get to where he should be, then he’ll be on his way. But a lot of guys don’t do that; they don’t figure it out.”