The head coaches of two of the New England Patriots’ AFC East rivals aren’t totally sold on Rob Gronkowski’s retirement announcement.
Adam Gase of the New York Jets and Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills both expressed skepticism over the star tight end’s farewell when addressing the media Tuesday at the NFL’s annual coaches breakfast in Phoenix.
?I?ll believe it when I see it,? Gase, who previously coached the Pats’ third division foe, the Miami Dolphins, told reporters, via the New York Daily News. ?When he?s not out there, I?ll believe it. …
“He?s tough to play against. If he?s really retired, he was a great player in this league. He?s a Hall of Fame player. He?s a tough matchup for every team that he played. Every time you?d see him, you knew he was going to make a play. If it was a big game, he was going to be a part of it.?
One of Gronkowski’s best games of the 2018 season came in a loss to Gase’s Dolphins. He caught eight passes on eight targets for 107 yards and a touchdown in Week 14 before playing an unfortunate role in the Miami Miracle.
McDermott is no stranger to those types of Gronk performances. In the first Patriots-Bills game of McDermott’s tenure, Gronkowski went off for nine catches on 11 targets for 147 yards in a lopsided Pats win — one of several dominant showings he had against his hometown team over the years.
And like Gase, the Buffalo bench boss wouldn’t be surprised if Gronkowski reverses course and returns to the field for New England.
Gronkowski’s own agent, Drew Rosenhaus, floated the possibility of a midseason comeback during interviews with multiple media outlets this week. So Gase and McDermott — whose teams have not won a division title since 2002 and 1995, respectively — might not be rid of the big man just yet.