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A blocking tight end.

2021 Patriots Season:
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Sep 12th

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Tony2046

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Did I say he did? What I said is I'd rather have 2 guys who are strong blockers than one super stud. It frees the OC up to make better use of the TE room

"Gronk always did his best line work with another physical TE who can also block at a high level."

I disagree.
 

Tony2046

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I highly doubt that. I remember the Patriots devoting two people just to maul Tony Gonzalez at the line near the end zone, and basically any of the "big WR" type TE's would likely be double covered in some respect fairly often. Gronk was special because he could also block, unlike many of those guys though.

Good point.
 

TheRazorsEdge

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
What makes Gronk special is his blocking ability AND receiving ability. Being able to do both is one thing...he does them both at an extremely high level and that is a rare skillset.

There have been and current still is good blocking TEs in the league. The only thing is alot of these guys...that's all they do. They don't get the stats or the limelight and thus we don't hear much about them (but qbs/rbs and Oline love these guys). There isn't a huge market for them as they usually get limited snaps per game and only in certain packages. They exist tho.

Hunter Henry / Jonnu Smith are a good mix of both ..henry being more the classic inline combo TE and Jonnu being the 'flex' but of course not on gronks level. Gronk blocks like an all pro offensivelineman and has had receiving stats of a wr1. That's rare air.
 

betterthanthealternative

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I disagree. Gronk didn't need "another physical TE" to do what he does. He was essentially a slightly undersized offensive lineman with speed and great hands. He was/is the ultimate mismatch.

I haven't checked but I wonder if he was the only TE to ever command double coverage.

He's a very rare talent and his true contributions to the game and team will never be fully acknowledged.

When we talk about beasts Gronk is the King.

There were tight ends as far back as the 1960's who got over/under double coverage.
 

stephens44

On the Game Day Roster
I don't see either comparison as valid, really. Gronk and Hernandez will probably never be matched as a pair, and we may never again find a TE like Gronk who can be equally effective on running and passing plays.

As for Graham and Watson, those 2 were known mostly for their blocking skills (despite Watson's speed), and my understanding of Henry and Smith is they're both better at receiving than blocking.

I think our new TE signings are good enough at blocking, but I hope no one expects they'll be as good as an extra OL out there because that won't be happening.

I'm reminded of that old document where Belichick describes his ideal offensive players for the system and he specifically says tight ends only need to be "helpful" as blockers, not dominant, so the new guys fit that description perfectly. That document also curiously says a TE shouldn't be cast aside just because of a lack of blocking skills...I wonder if that philosophy led to LaCosse.

Ok... So I guess I should have elaborated that Cam is the QB and taken into account all the implications for the number and quality of the passing attempts that will target the TE position. Watson/Graham average production in the passing game is what I expect from the new talent at the position, all four of them. About 60 rec. and 6-8 TDs is Graham/Watson production in the passing game and I expect these guys aren't stiffs in the running game. I expect they can chip a DE, hold up a LB and block a DB with skill proportionate with their contract.
 
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jah

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Ok... So I guess I should have elaborated that Cam is the QB and taken into account all the implications for the number and quality of the passing attempts that will target the TE position. Watson/Graham average production in the passing game is what I expect from the new talent at the position, all four of them. About 60 rec. and 6-8 TDs is Graham/Watson production in the passing game and I expect these guys aren't stiffs in the running game. I expect they can chip a DE, hold up a LB and block a DB with skill proportionate with their contract.
That sounds about right, although I think both Henry and Smith putting up those numbers in the same season would require a lot of things going our way in terms of injury and QB competence.
 

woolster22

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It’s been a while but I got a chance to rewatch this past super bowl between the chiefs and bucs and I gotta say Gronk was a game changer when it came down to blocking, he was man handling the KC defensive ends. The ply action passes were effective when Gronk stayed in and blocked. Also he was great with blocking when it came down to running the ball.
Our run game would be so much more effective if we can get the same type of production at blocking from at least one of our tight ends.
I am excited for this upcoming season, the run game should be better and our offense should be much better than last year with the exception of our QB...
Gronk is basically a supet athletic 3rd tackle with a WR's hands. He's the prototype for the position. A decimated back is the only reason he wasn't deemed the GOAT TE years ago.

He and Develin absolutely dominated the deflategate AFCCG. we could have played with beach or bowling balls and indy still wouldn't have an answer. The only time they stopped anything was when McDumbass got cute (usually put hooman on the field, iirc) and tried to show everyone how smart he was by getting away from the run game Indy had no answer for.
 

mgteich

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I haven't checked but I wonder if he was the only TE to ever command double coverage.
Yes, gronk is the king, and perhaps the very best TE of all time.

That being said, I'm sure that lots of TE's have commanded double coverage, at least in many situations. Folks can chime in on current TE's Surely, Kelce has often commanded double coverage.
 

ctpatsfan77

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While we're not going to get Gronk level blocking from either of our new TEs, both of them are reportedly competent blockers. Gronk, however, is a monster, huge, athletic, and smarter than he looks. No one blocks like Gronk.

As long as we don't expect Gronk out of the new guys we should be happy with them
I don't know that, even in his prime, he was the best blocker in the league, but what made GRONK special is that he was a top 5 blocking TE and a top 5 receiving TE at the same time.
 

Simpelton

In the Starting Line-Up
I don't know that, even in his prime, he was the best blocker in the league, but what made GRONK special is that he was a top 5 blocking TE and a top 5 receiving TE at the same time.
Indeed, that gave him the unique ability to sell a block and then release, leaving a defender hanging in thin air, put a DE on him and he'll burn him, put a LB or safety on him and hell overpower them. The man is probably the most skilled TEs in human history.
 

captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
Don't know if we have room for anyone else at the position, but Jesse James is still available and is a better blocker than any of our 5 guys...Virgil Green is too, and better than James, but he's recovering from an ankle injury suffered just before Halloween last year (so one would ass-ume that he should be good to go by now) and will also be 33 in August...
 
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stephens44

On the Game Day Roster
Yes, gronk is the king, and perhaps the very best TE of all time.

That being said, I'm sure that lots of TE's have commanded double coverage, at least in many situations. Folks can chime in on current TE's Surely, Kelce has often commanded double coverage.

Gronk is the king, but not the OG for his playing style.
The original 87 was pretty damn good and it would be nice to get another 87 to continue what could be a legacy:
 

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woolster22

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Gronk is the king, but not the OG for his playing style.
The original 87 was pretty damn good and it would be nice to get another 87 to continue what could be a legacy:
One of my earliest Pats memories was watching 3 dbs struggling to take down Coates barreling towards the EZ. I was too young to really know what was going on, but he was obviously a handful.

I second the motion for a third 87!
 

thecore762

In the Starting Line-Up
Gronk is special on so many levels, but our current compliment of Henry, Smith are pretty solid. Then behind them are Keene and Assiasi whose abilities are not really known.. not sure if anyone can fulfill the blocking role. Currently our O is much better, on paper, with the two new TE's... I read where Tom House has been working with Cam, so there is some hope then there are OTA's. TC and preseason.

Glad to hear, hope Cam is much better and consistent throughout the season.
 

DarrylS

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While there is love for Coates, don't forget about "All World" Russ Francis, coined by Howard Cosell, he was a pretty good TE for the NEPatriots ('75 to '88).. he did not share the same number (81) but should be in this conversation.
 

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