The Miami Dolphins know better than to overlook one of the best tight ends in the NFL.
Rob Gronkowski made headlines Monday when he told reporters that he had been given the green light to play in the New England Patriots’ season opener against Miami.
While we won’t know just how ready Gronk is before he steps on the field Sunday, the Dolphins are expecting nothing but the best from the oft-injured tight end.
“Well, we were fully prepared,” head coach Joe Philbin told reporters, via WEEI. “We saw he’s on the 53-man roster, so you have to be prepared for every combination.”
When healthy, Gronkowski can be a matchup nightmare for teams who must find a way to contain his rare blend of size and athleticism.
”Any of the big tight ends you face, guys of that caliber (who) can create mismatches in man-to-man, body up against smaller defensive backs or even small linebackers, (that’s) an issue,” Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said. “(Gronkowski) has also been a big target for them in the red zone, so if he plays and how much he plays — we don’t know how much that will be — that’s not going to change what we do.”
Believe it or not, the Dolphins have been one of the few teams who have effectively limited Gronkowski in recent years. Gronkowski has totaled less than 70 yards on four receptions in his last two games against Miami, recording just 27 receiving yards in his last appearance against the team in October 2013.
“We’ll have a good plan in place, but he’s certainly an important part of their offense, and a productive part of it,” Philbin added. “We’ll be ready for him, for sure.”