#1 Even as Rob Gronkowski turned in a vintage performance von zhangzk 16.11.2019 03:57

FOXBOROUGH Jordan Scarlett Jersey , Mass. (AP) — with his big grabs down the stretch in the AFC championship game, the veteran Patriots tight end also did plenty of dirty work.Gronk the blocker? The label didn’t fit in the past. But this season, one of the best receiving tight ends in NFL history and Tom Brady’s longtime favorite target made some big contributions to the Patriots’ rejuvenated running game.“Whatever coaches call, whatever plays we call … blocking, receiving, no matter what is, whatever play is called, just got to go out there and do your job,” Gronkowski said.It was an underwhelming season statistically for Gronkowski, who contemplated retirement after last year’s Super Bowl loss. He appeared in 13 games as he fought through nagging back and ankle injuries, finishing with 47 catches for 682 yards and three touchdowns.But Gronk did more of the things that don’t appear on the stat sheet. And he’s fine with that as he heads into a Super Bowl matchup with the Rams eyeing the third ring in his nine-year career.Brady said Gronkowski’s ability as a blocker might be the most underrated part of his game.“He’s one of the most dominant blocking tight ends in the league,” Brady said. “He’s a threat any time he’s out there.”One of his biggest plays in the Patriots’ overtime victory over Kansas City for the AFC title came in the run game.After the Chiefs took their first lead, New England responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Gronkowski pushing aside Kansas City linebacker Justin Houston on fourth-and-inches and allowing Sony Michel to jog into the end zone from 10 yards out.Gronk’s future beyond this season is once again an open question. He will be entering the final season of a six-year contract in 2019 and is scheduled to make about $9 million. Before the season David Montgomery Jersey , he acknowledged he would like to rework the deal, and he skipped a voluntary offseason workout. He later had bonus incentives added to his contract.He’d be missed if he doesn’t return. After a quiet performance in the Patriots’ divisional playoff win over the Chargers, Gronkowski was targeted a season-high 11 times against the Chiefs, catching six passes for 79 yards and coming up with big grabs down the stretch.Brady was 5 for 5 on third down in the fourth quarter and overtime, with two of those passes going to Gronkowski. Those catches, for 25 and 15 yards, set up the go-ahead and game-winning touchdowns.It was nothing new for the 29-year-old Gronk, who entered the season with 75 postseason receptions — the most by a tight end in NFL history. In the regular season, he has the most TD catches thrown by Brady to any player (78).The Rams’ defense was the second-worst in the league this season, giving up 1,075 yards receiving to opposing tight ends. It should mean plenty of opportunities for Gronkowski to show the combination of size, strong hands and agility that has made him a matchup nightmare throughout his career.His chemistry with Brady means he knows the ball could always come his way, no matter what kind of game he’s having.“You’ve got to have confidence in each other,” Gronkowski said. “That’s what practice is all about. That’s knowing each other is all about. Knowing that when it comes to those situations and you’ve got to put that ball up Riley Ridley Jersey , I’ve got to make the play. … That’s the trust that we have with each other. We love playing with each other. Just a bond we have, to go out there and always be on the same page.” There’s a good chance the Patriots beat the Jets by a large margin Sunday, and if the margin eventually becomes excessive, Jets coach Adam Gase won’t complain about it.The Patriots clearly could have taken a foot off the gas last week against the helpless Dolphins, but were still dialing up blitzes and playing Tom Brady late in a 43-0 thrashing.“I like it,�? Gase said, via Manish Mehta of the . “But that’s just me. . . .Asked whether there was a sportsmanship consideration, Gase shook that off: “Nope. It’s the NFL. This isn’t pee-wee football.”The Patriots have outscored opponents 76-3 so far, and Brady has played every snap. Gase also applauded that (clearly he’s buttering up Bill Belichick), but said he thinks repetitions in a game matter, regardless of score.“Here’s how I look at this,�? Gase said. “It’s the second week of the season. The way that our league is structured now, those in-game reps are really valuable. Everything that you do in a game, especially at the beginning of the year Greedy Williams Jersey , it’s going to help you get better for the mid-part to the end of the season.”�?�So, what we get to do at practice per week and training camp, how (little) contact that you have, the spring and all those types of things. These in-game reps whether you’re up, down, whatever it is �? they’re all important. So, if you get in this situation, you want to keep playing. Because those are going to be valuable four or five weeks down the road. I mean, there really is value to that.”So even if Luke Falk isn’t able to lead his team to a win (or even to a cover of a 23-point spread), Gase can at least take comfort knowing he is providing value. For somebody.

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