NFL Awards: Why Rob Gronkowiski Deserves Offensive Player of the Year

Chris HerbertContributor IIIFebruary 1, 2012

NFL Awards: Why Rob Gronkowiski Deserves Offensive Player of the Year

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    Football fans should know that the quarterback is by far the most important and popular position in the National Football League today. The quarterback position is regarded as the position that a rebuilding team starts around and can be the key piece of a championship team.

    While many can agree that top quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Drew Brees had MVP-caliber seasons, one must feel that the other positions of the field tend to be overlooked and lack utter importance when it comes to end-of-the-year awards. With the first ever NFL honors show airing on Saturday night on NBC, there is one player from another position that truly deserves the Offensive Player of the Year award.

    His name? Rob Gronkowiski. Let's see why he deserves this award.

Gronkowiski's 2011 Season

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    In 2011, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski would have not only one of the greatest regular seasons for a player of his position but one of the greatest regular seasons ever for an offensive player.

    With 90 catches, 1,327 receiving yards, and 17 receiving touchdowns, “Gronk” had a breakout season that should be remembered for years to come.

Inside Gronkowski's Numbers

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    While other players in his position like Jimmy Graham, Vernon Davis and even teammate Aaron Hernandez had excellent seasons, Gronkowski picked up recording-breaking numbers and go where no tight end had ever gone.

    Gronkowski’s 90 receptions were the eighth-most in history for his position, and his touchdowns and receiving yards are the most ever for a tight end in a single season.

    Not bad for a tight end who is only in his second season in the NFL.

Playing on a Crowded Offense

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    What makes Gronkowiski’s numbers even more impressive this season was he was on a team where wide receiver Wes Welker had 122 catches and nine TDs.

    Deion Branch had 51 receptions with five touchdowns. Running back BenJarvis Green-Ellis found the end zone 11 times. Even teammate Aaron Hernandez would also have 79 catches and seven touchdowns.

    Despite being on a New England Patriots team where the ball was evenly distributed by quarterback Tom Brady, Gronkowski still dominated on the stat sheet.

Playoff Performance so Far

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    People might think that his numbers may come down to earth against some of the playoff teams in the AFC this season, but to no avail. So far, in the playoffs, Rob Gronkowski has 15 catches for 223 yards, and three touchdowns.

    All of his touchdowns came against the Denver Broncos, and he tied NFL Hall-of-Famer Jerry Rice for the most postseason touchdowns in a single game

Closing Thoughts

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    With the NFL Honors show coming on Saturday night and a few days away from playing in the Super Bowl, there should be no reason why Rob Gronkowski does not win Offensive Player of the Year.

    While most people are going to look at the impressive season from NFL quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Pats teammate Tom Brady, Gronk deserves this award, not just for his regular-season success, but for his impact for non-quarterbacks in the NFL.