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Gronk is a perfect mix of power and agility. At 6'6" 264 lbs, he has the size and surprisingly the quickness to break free across the middle and in the red zone( 3 touchdowns in three preason games). Ironicallly, he wears the same number, #87 as the last Patriots player to dominate his position, Ben Coates. Both players are physical beasts that overmatch their defensive foes.
What Gronk has in pure physical freakishness, Aaron Hernandez has in shiftiness and "Dallas Clark" headiness. He is able to slice up the middle of the field which will have defenses thinking twice about focusing solely on Wes Welker.
Could Hernandez be the Pats' Dallas Clark? The Connecticut native played at the University of Florida and benefited from having Tim Tebow has his quarterback. As a junior, Hernandez was awarded the John Mackey award for the nation's best tight end. His stat line that year was quite impressive with 68 receptions for 850 yards and five touchdowns.
There is no doubt that Hernan can perform in a high octane offense like the one in New England.
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He gives the Patriots a ‘Dallas Clark’ type tight end who is going to line up a lot as an extra receiver on multiple WR sets. In two preseason games he has 7 catches for 72 yards and one touchdown, which came against the Atlanta Falcons starting defense.
Hernandez looks poised for a big year as he looks to be a major weapon in the red zone, an area where the Patriots struggled mightily last season.
Even though it seems like fellow rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez is the primary pass-catching TE, ‘Gronk’ has the opportunity to excel in the Patriots offense with Tom Brady at the helm. Brady is known for spreading the ball around and Gronkowski helps take away some of the predictability that doomed the Bill O’Brien offense last season.
Did Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski really drag physical Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis 5 yards before diving into the end zone?
Upon further review, the 6-foot-2, 247-pound Ohio State product traveled 4 yards on the ground - from the 7-yard line to the 3 - before Gronkowski shook loose and made his one-legged leap over the goal line.
The budding rookie star, who caught a pass from quarterback Tom Brady in the flat and turned it into a 14-yard score, described it simply:
His great grandfather, Ignatius, was a member of the 1924 United States Olympic cycling team that competed in Paris. His father, Gordon, played offensive guard at Syracuse from 1977-1981.
The NFL provides the ties that bind the Gronkowski family today.
Three in number, the Brothers Gronkowski in the NFL today include Dan, a second-year tight end out of Maryland whom the Detroit Lions selected in the seventh round of the 2009 draft, and Chris, an H-Back and teammate of Rob’s at Arizona (transferring there from Maryland where he was a teammate of Dan’s) vying for a spot on the Dallas Cowboys’ 53-man roster as a rookie free-agent fullback and long snapper.
A fourth brother, 27-year-old Gordie, made his way through Brockton earlier this year, stepping into the batter’s box against the Rox at Campanelli Stadium as a member of the Can-Am League’s Worcester Tornadoes.
Released by the Tornadoes in mid-July, the former Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim draft pick (49th round, 2006) is currently hitting .305 with 14 home runs and 42 RBI in 39 games as a first baseman with the Frontier League’s Gateway Grizzles.
Q: Mike, I am giddy about Rob Gronkowski. Are you with me or should I be thinking like Belichick and "not put his bust in Canton yet"?
A: I don't know how someone following the Patriots couldn't be excited about Gronkowski. He is 6-foot-6, 265 pounds but runs like a receiver and blocks like an offensive lineman. It's a rare mix. He also hasn't missed a practice since the spring, which is extremely important for a rookie in his situation.
When it was announced that there would be time for one more question, Belichick scanned the audience and told former Patriots quarterback and local sports-talk host Scott Zolak that it was all his.
Zolak wanted to know what Belichick thought of veteran tight end Alge Crumpler’s impact on rookies Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, and Belichick began gushing.
“Priceless,” Belichick responded. “He’s just so professional in every way – on the field, off the field. In between plays. In the huddle. Just the way he keeps going, the way he looks at every play, where he is, his mental toughness. He’s awesome.
“He’s been great, not just for the tight ends. He’s been a good influence for all of us. Very professional. It seems like he always does the right thing. He certainly goes about it always the right way. He’s going to make mistakes out there, but he goes about it the right away. He’s good for all of us. He’s been a great addition to this team.”