Gronk Contingency Planning, If Any

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by DarrylStingley, Apr 9, 2013.

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  1. DarrylStingley

    DarrylStingley Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Let's assume that Gronk will NOT be "fine" for the sake of discussion.

    Let's further assume that BB will find out in the next week or so that Gronk will not be ready on Day 1 and could be out for a while thereafter.

    To be clear, these are just assumptions. They are not predictions. There's no need to debate in this particular thread whether Gronk will, in fact, be OK for all or part of next sesson. Go to the main Gronk thread for that conversation, please.

    My focus is on what Bill might do if he knows or has good reason to believe he will not have a lot of Gronk next season.

    Specifically, what do you think Bill should and will do under those circumstances? Or will he do anything differently at all? Do you think he should?

    Will he augment TE? Will he dig deeper into the wallet at WR? Offer Sanders a contract? Make a trade for a WR? Short Herbalife stock? Fantasize about Kate Upton?

    What will he do?????
  2. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 Supporter Supporter

    #3 Jersey

    Is Jake Ballard ready to go?

    If so, he has his GRONKstitute.
  3. Brady2Moss

    Brady2Moss Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    Ballard and prayer I'm guessing.

    I'm pretty scared that our top 3 targets get hurt almost every year (Amendola, Gronk, Hernandez) need to build up some quality depth, hopefully they draft 2 receivers so that we have an alternative to go to in the red zone if Gronk isn't there.

    As the team is currently constructed that's a huge problem and killed us last year against Baltimore.
  4. dales804

    dales804 In the Starting Line-Up

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    This guy should be capable of holding the fort down:

  5. Brady2Moss

    Brady2Moss Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    Could you have picked a different picture :D
  6. mgteich

    mgteich Veteran Supporter

    We have Hernandez, Ballard, Hooman and Fells.

  7. serifyn

    serifyn Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    After Gronk was injured the Patriots offense didn't suffer much, the only team who managed to stop them was the Ravens after the Patriots fell apart defensively in the second half.

    With the Patriots offense even without gronk they should be able to put up 24-30 points against everyone in their division and would only have real trouble against their main rivals.

    The key to the Patriots success in 2013 will have more to do with their defense, you'd have to believe their offense will fine.

    There is still plenty of time between now and the start of the season, barring any major unforeseen setbacks, Gronk should still be fine and if he isn't fine by then, his career could be in serious jeopardy, but we don't even know for sure whether he has an infection at all, so lets just cross one bridge at a time here.

    If you should be mad at anyone, blame the facilities used to perform the second surgery.
  8. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    No offense but I'm going to assume that they can clear an infection and get the arm structurally sound in the FIVE MONTHS that are left. If they can't, a pox on the Patriots, their doctors, Mass General and whoever else may be involved.

    To answer the question they'll just put the next guy in, hopefully Ballard, and move forward. I doubt they would bring a significant TE in unless the plan is to use Hernandez less as a TE this year.
  9. BradyManny

    BradyManny Pro Bowl Player

    First: what's worst case for scenario for Gronk? That he misses the first couple weeks of the season? I don't think anyone has seriously suggested that this would derail his career or even season so far, so even if the WORST CASE came to pass, he'll still be back in time for when games matter most. And that's when he need him.

    If we are looking for Gronk replacements, there's two things to consider:

    1) Like Brady or Wilfork, he is a blue-chip player whose production cannot seriously be replaced
    2) We already have a player on the roster who can, as best possible, replicate his function and provide as small a dip in production as one could possibly expect.

    Height: 6'6
    Weight: 265 lbs
    40 time: 4.65

    Height: 6'6
    Weight: 275 lbs
    40 time: 4.8

    Obviously, Ballard lacks the speed Gronkowski has and that makes a huge difference. But, particularly with the help of Scar, he should be able to hold his own as a blocker; and he's been productive in his one season of playing. He's got similar size, he is good at the seam routes. Basically, we're not going to find a better Gronk backup than the one Bill snatched from the Giants a year ago.
  10. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 Supporter Supporter

    #3 Jersey

    And yet in 2011 Ballard actually had better YPC than GRONK.
  11. Wilfork#75

    Wilfork#75 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    #75 Jersey

    My personal approach wouldn't change but that is because I am of the opinion whether Gronk is 100% to start the season or sure to miss time, we need adequate back up plans in case of injury. And its not just Gronk, we have really struggled with depth at offensive skill positions for the last few years and when injuries have inevitably happened we haven't been able to cover for it against good teams. Against crappy teams in the regular season we can make do with very little , my concern though is big games and especially in the playoffs.

    That is why I would like to see greater emphasis on depth at TE and particularly WR, and more of those guys getting playing time during the regular season. Last offseason I said if Gronk has another record breaking year it would be a bad thing for the offense because it means we are far too reliant on him. Well we saw for the second year in a row the impact he has on this team, and what happens when he isn't there. I think we need to reduce the workload for Gronk and Hernandez throughout the season, try to keep them fresh and have them step up in the big games. This would put a greater responsibility on our WRs and also give them more of a chance to mesh with Brady. Obviously that puts a lot of pressure on Amendola to not be too much of a downgrade from Welker, but we need far greater production from WRs 2,3, and 4 as well as our 3rd TE. I also think we need to continue to run the ball more to take pressure off Brady and our defense. Overall I don't think its about getting an extra player because of questions about Gronk, its about making sure the entire offense contributes so we can reduce the burden on the top guys, but also have guys in place that can step up when needed. Obviously that is easier said than done, but with injuries being an inevitable part of the game I don't think we can continue with such poor depth on offense.
  12. BradyManny

    BradyManny Pro Bowl Player

    Good point - Ballard's YPC really stands out. As we saw from what he did to us in that November game, we know he can beat teams in the deep middle.

    Still, I don't think we're saying Ballard can be Gronk. Gronk is a very special player.
  13. PatsDeb

    PatsDeb Supporter Supporter

    Make sure we re-sign Welker so that we have our most reliable pass catcher on the field!

    Oh wait, the ship has sailed on that move...Wow, Pats look dumber than ever on this one.
  14. borg

    borg In the Starting Line-Up

    As the Baltimore playoff game proved, without Gronk, the Patriots' plan B was woefully inadequate. Without a traditional TE threat, Hernandez just doesn't create a mismatch threat. Without spending significant draft capital to acquire a legitimate play making threat, a Gronkless offense will once again be dependent on move the chains receivers that failed miserably inside the 20's.
  15. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah Supporter Supporter

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    You cannot have an ironclad backup plan for every single player contingency, especially for some that may not actually be needed. Ballard is the backup plan for Gronk. Panic $ and draft moves for big TEs are unwarranted when we have existing holes in the defensive backfield and pass rush. Pick a UDFA TE as we always do and see if he makes the PS.
  16. stevedogc

    stevedogc Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Whats the difference? You comparing apples to oranges. Maybe Ballard had a higher YPC cuz he ran deeper routes. Ballards ypc in 2011 was 15.9, but had a 5.02 yac. In comparison, Gronks 2011 ypc was 14.7, but his yac was 7.3. More yac can certainly be an indication of more speed as well. I am curious to see what Ballard can do, and he certainly has the ability and attributes similar to Gronk. But he has only 1 season in the NFL, is coming off major knee surgury, has not played in over a year and has not played in this system yet. There are way to many questions to think he can step in and give you even a fraction of what Gronk could do.

    As for the other players mentioned. Hooman and Fells had a combined 9 catches last season. And that was with either Ahern or Gronk injured during the season. Not counting on these guys. The Pats are also trying to replace Welker and Lloyds contributions, if we have to do Gronks as well, this offense is set to take a pretty big step back. Unless we strike lightning in the draft, cuz I dont see Jones and Jenkins doing much.
  17. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias In the Starting Line-Up

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    Ballard does a lot things well for his size and speed but he's no Gronkowski (obviously). However, he is a perfect back-up to him because of the similarities in size and physicality. Rob's a one of a kind TE, no can replace what he means to their offense. The stats within their proper context prove just how important he is to the Patriots especially in the money part of the field:
    Hopefully, Rob can be available for season, but if not, Jake can be an adequate contingency plan if you can even call it that.
  18. DarrylStingley

    DarrylStingley Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    I would roll with Ballard and Hernandez at TE. But I'd be more willing to spend and draft at WR than I was before. Make no mistake, I view WR as a huge need regardless of Gronk's health, but him going down just puts a finer point on it.

    I don't view the decision to dedicate more resources to WR as a panic move. I view it as a necessary adjustment to the loss of their best all around receiver regardless of position.

    Again, this all assumes that BB will know that Gronk is out...which may not happen.
  19. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? Supporter

    No Jersey Selected

    I'm expecting the team to double dip on WR's in the draft, or draft a WR like Hunter, Woods, or Wheaton, and then sign someone like Sanders to an offer sheet. Either way, the team had it's trouble in the red zone in the AFCCG when Gronk was out. Ballard is capable of coming in, assuming health. Further, I really think the team is going to start moving toward bigger bodied, more athletic receivers. It makes the offense that much more potent in the red zone with Gronk, and is capable of carrying the load there should Gronk be out.
  20. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias In the Starting Line-Up

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    My thoughts exactly.

    It looks like the goal is to be more explosive on the perimeter and more physical in the red/money area with the wide-outs. The Patriots biggest offensive weakness is a lack of physicality and toughness on the outside. That has to change if they wish to get over the hump. And as you've stated bigger, more athletic receivers should quell this issue once and for all.
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