Ex-Patriot Explains How Team Should Pitch Rob Gronkowski On Returning


October 15, 2019

If New England truly is hoping for a reunion this season with Rob Gronkowski, an ex-Patriot believes there’s a way the franchise can woo the former tight end.

Gronkowski has been open about the brutal physical toll he took over the course of nine NFL seasons. Much of this was due to Gronkowski’s role with the Patriots, who tasked the future Hall of Famer with being equally involved in the blocking game as he was the pass-catching. But if Bill Belichick and Co. were to narrow down Gronk’s duties in a hypothetical second stint, former offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger believes the 30-year-old could be convinced to give it another go.

“If I’m the Patriots, this is the song I’m singing in his ear: you’re not coming back and sullying your jersey on the offensive line with all those other brutes blocking in the box,” Ohrnberger said Friday on FOX Sports 1’s “Speak For Yourself.” “You’re a receiver now. You’ve lost all this weight, let’s get you out on the outside. Let’s get you in the slot where you demand attention and coverage. Let’s get you on the wide side of the field away from the boundary, right? Let’s see coverage roll your way and look, you’re gonna catch the ball 10 times a game maybe. You’ll get hit 10 times a game maybe, but you’ll be a decoy, you’ll draw coverage. We will throw to the high percentage, middle of the field, in between or near the hashes, in between the numbers for Tom Brady where they want to go with the football anyway. We’ll go and win another Super Bowl. How does it sound, Robby?”

Regardless of whether Ohrnberger’s suggestion would be the Patriots’ best approach, it sounds like there wouldn’t be an offer enticing enough to pull Gronkowski out of retirement. After months of fence-sitting, Gronk on Tuesday finally gave a direct answer about possibly returning by offering a clear-cut “no.”

But despite Gronkowski’s unambiguous offering, there’s no doubt hypotheticals like Ohrnberger’s will continue to pour out.

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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