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Rob Gronkowski, Calvin Johnson, and NFL Targets Who Are Never Truly Covered

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Rob Gronkowski, Calvin Johnson, and NFL Targets Who Are Never Truly Covered
Rich Schultz/Getty Images
New England Patriots All Pro TE Rob Gronkowski

Amongst today's crop of NFL receivers there is a breed of player who brings a whole other type of frustration to the faces of the league's defensive coordinators.  

Going back to the days of Green Bay's Don Hutson offenses have traditionally developed plays for athletic receiver types who couldn't be covered.  Certainly today that remains the object of the game but there appears to be a whole new subset of player as well, the guy who's open, even when he's not.

It's not that this player never existed before for example just ask anyone who tried to cover Philadelphia's 6'8" Harold Carmichael during the 70s and 80s. 

It's just that today the growing number of receivers with freakish athletic abilities combined with the NFL's pillow fight rules interpretations have helped expand this group of guys into their own genre. 

The old saying is that a great receiver thinks of himself like the local 7-11, they're always open.  That's never rang more true than for this group of elite pass catchers.

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