Why New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski Won't Be Able to Match 2011 Performance

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Why New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski Won't Be Able to Match 2011 Performance
Nick Laham/Getty Images

The days remaining until the NFL preseason starts are dwindling, and the New England Patriots will soon be taking the field with a roster full of near-locks to produce.

Tom Brady is one. Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd are others. Also on the list, maybe at the top, is Rob Gronkowski.

Gronkowski followed his eye-opening rookie season with a record-breaking 2011, all the while looking like an unrelenting force on the field.

He's faster than anyone big enough to stop him and bigger than anyone fast enough to keep up with him. He's a massive target for Brady, and anything that hits his hands stays there.

So Gronkowski is going to produce. Book it.

But if you're looking for an encore performance, tread carefully. It's not going to happen.

Gronk will put up Pro Bowl-caliber numbers, but don't expect him to flirt with the record books again. There are several reasons why the stats will dip. Here are a few.

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