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Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski: still a fan of receiving AND blocking

“The game changes on the fly”

NFL: Houston Texans at New England Patriots David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
  1. If you expected any Patriot, much less Rob Gronkowski, to say anything about what their assignments are other than “we’re gonna execute the game plan”, you may be new here.
  2. Having said that, compared with some of the Mean Girls stuff going around in places like Pittsburgh and Jacksonville and Green Bay, the classic Patriot-speak is almost a blessing in disguise at this point. Think of it like a peanut butter sandwich or an old hoodie or something. It works, albeit sort of unspectacularly, so why change it?

And now that we’ve at least tabled the Gronk-vs-Kelce debate for the time being, Gronk had some thoughts on the superior part of his game in that argument (that being, of course, the “end” part of the “tight end” position) and why he’s equally down with running up the seam or bench-pressing a defensive end.

From PFT:

After a shootout against the Chiefs during which Gronkowski spent more time than usual blocking on passing plays, Gronk was asked by reporters whether he likes to pass block.

“Yeah,” he said. “Why not?”

He also was asked whether he knew in advance that he’d be used a little bit more as a pass blocker.

“No, I mean, every game changes,” Gronkowski said. “You’ve got a game plan. You’re going in with the game plan but I mean, the game plan changes on the fly. The games change on the fly. Your assignments change on the fly and everything. It’s playing football and it is what it is. Whatever coach [Bill Belichick] is calling, I’m cool with. I’ve never had a problem with it and if it’s the whole game, it’s the whole game. It is what it is and I don’t mind doing it at all.”

He doesn’t mind it, but he made it clear that, for him, the ideal game has some of everything.

“To tell you the truth, I don’t like running every single play, I don’t like running a route every play and I don’t like blocking every play,” Gronkowski said. “I like the balance and I love a balanced offense. I believe it helps both parts of the game out and it’s a crucial part of the game both sides, passing and running. I like doing both and I like balancing out, give or take some more runs, some more pass plays, but I definitely like the balance and I like doing both at a balanced rate.”

PFT also notes, in the “can’t make this stuff up” department, that even with Gronk’s slow-ish receiving start to the season, which will happen when teams are throwing triple-teams and just praying something works, he’s still on pace for...wait for it...69 receptions and 1,080 yards. To hit the yardage incentive part of his re-done contract, he needs 1,085, and the catch incentive kicks in at 70 grabs, so file that under “when you’ve got somewhere to be at 6pm and the GPS says you’ll get there at 5:59”. The touchdown incentive looks a bit more “well, we got some work to do” at this point, since (you may have heard) he currently has one (1), and the performance trigger kicks in at 9 scores, but with the way this offense has looked since “what happens in Detroit stays in Detroit”, is anyone really betting against Gronk possibly scoring an average of once a week?

On the other hand, if there was ever a time to have a pair of tight ends that are both down to stay home and push guys around, it’d be when the Patriots roll into Soldier Field this weekend to take on the Bears, who are suddenly back to looking a lot more like your dad’s Bears than whatever it was John Fox was doing.