The New England Patriots could have the most dangerous tight end duo in the NFL this season, and Rob Gronkowski sounds as excited as anyone about its potential.
During an interview promoting his appearance on the “Madden NFL 17” cover, Gronkowski was for his thoughts on Patriots newcomer Martellus Bennett, whom New England acquired in a trade with the Chicago Bears earlier this offseason.
“It’s going to be great playing with him,” Gronkowski told NFL Media’s Adam Rank. “Having another Pro Bowl tight end on my side, it couldn’t any be better. He’s a great dude. We’ve been working together the last few weeks, and he’s a great player. The way he runs is kind of scary. He’s super fast, and he’s a solid tight end. I’m super excited to get rolling with him.”
Injuries limited Bennett to 11 games last season, but he was one of the most productive tight ends in the NFL in 2014, posting career highs in catches (90), receiving yards (916) and touchdown (six). Gronkowski, meanwhile, has been a force throughout his Patriots career, earning first-team All-Pro honors in four of his first six pro seasons.
The Patriots brought in Bennett to give quarterback Tom Brady an additional weapon, but there’s a chance both he and Gronkowski could be catching passes from a different signal-caller for the first month of the season.
Brady currently is fighting a suspension that would hold him out of New England’s first four games. If he’s forced to sit, backup Jimmy Garoppolo likely would get the nod in his place.
Garoppolo has yet to start his first regular-season game at the NFL level, but Gronkowski said he has faith in the third-year pro to perform if called upon.
“He’ll be good, for sure,” Gronkowski said. “We’ve got a good supporting cast, the coaches. The way the coaches bring everyone up is just great around there. He’s a good player, so I feel like he’ll be good, for sure.”
Thumbnail photo via John Rieger/USA TODAY Sports Images