FOXBORO, Mass. — Planning to cover Rob Gronkowski is one thing. Neutralizing him on the field is another.
Some coaches want King Kong to suit up for their team to defend the New England Patriots tight end. Others, like Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden, are considering more conventional ways.
“I think it’s going to be a group effort,” Gruden said on a conference call with New England media Wednesday. “You can say you want to double him and do all this stuff, but if you double him, you leave the other guys 1-on-1. I think it’s going to be man-on-man in certain situations. Our guys are going to have to step up, no matter who is on him, and compete for the football.”
Gronkowski often is compared to former tight ends like Tony Gonzalez. But Gruden has some different equals for Gronk.
“Rob Gronkowski, he’s like a great basketball player; Steph Curry or LeBron James, he’s going to get his points,” Gruden said. “You just have to make sure they don’t kill you. So we just have to limit his big plays, and when he does get the ball, we get some people around him and try to force some turnovers and go ahead and play.”
But if that doesn’t work, there always are other ways.
“Only way to stop (Gronkowski) is hope they undercook food he gets in room service,” Terrance Knighton said, via the Washington Times’ Anthony Gulizia.
Or not. Advantage: Gronk.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images