Rob Gronkowski Ready For Bigger Role
New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski hasn’t been quite himself through the first three weeks of the 2014 NFL season. But he’s ready to be.
No Longer Limited
According to reports, Gronkowski “doesn’t feel limited” despite the team limiting him during practice and keeping him restrained in games. Gronkowski hasn’t looked quite as quick or nimble as usual, but he claims he feels ready to take on a bigger role in the offense.
That should be music to the Patriots’ ears, as their passing game has suffered through the first three weeks. Gronkowski has still brought a red-zone presence to the table due to his size (two touchdowns), but he has yet to record more than four catches or 50+ receiving yards in a single game.
Gronkowski never had to worry about whether or not he had a big role or was making an impact before. However, he’s battled numerous injuries over the past two seasons (arm, back and knee) and has missed a total of 15 games over that span. Gronkowski made a rapid return from last year’s knee injury and was ready for week one, having vowed to play in all 16 games this year. He didn’t look quite right in week one, but after three games it seems like he could be rounding himself back into shape.
Gronkowski Versus Chiefs
That could change as soon as week four. Quarterback Tom Brady hasn’t lit it up during that same span of games, as New England has leaned heavily on it’s #1 ranked pass defense, as well as it’s running game on offense.
However, head coach Bill Belichick and co. know they can’t win games forever without having a more versatile passing attack. Not only does a healthy and effective Gronkowski mean defenses have to worry about him all over the field, but the mere threat of him opens things up for New England’s other receivers and running game.
Heading into Monday night’s showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs, Gronkowski should be on watch to go off. He has a solid matchup and with the Chiefs doing a decent job against the run, New England may have to take it to the air to close a win on the road.
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