Does the loss of Gronk hurt? Absolutely. Even the somewhat diminished version of last year presented an equal threat to receive or block, meaning he was a significant problem for defenses because he could produce receptions and open holes for RBs, and he could conceal offensive plays as a dual threat. Is the loss cataclysmic? No. There are linemen who can block better than Gronk and receivers out there who can catch better than Gronk (in his prime that was a bigger question). That will require multiple players rather than one, and it does amount to tells for defenses when a TE cannot block or catch. The Pats have always adapted offenses and personnel to better use what is available (RBs, FBs, etc.) rather than trying to recreate what they had without the same talent from prior years (more or less, who could replace Moss in his 2007 form?). The Gronk/Hernandez draft was a surprise, and it worked. Most other teams tried to reproduce that, and failed. The Pats evolved when everyone was looking for TEs, and will do so again (with a horde of WRs, RBs and TEs, we'll see where that goes). I expect they will be fine in life after Gronk. Different, but fine.