Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane called out Rob Gronkowski on Thursday, Jan. 22, saying that he doesn't "think he's that good." Gronkowski responded by shrugging Lane's comments off.
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Sherman Comments on Gronkowski
Sunday, Jan. 25
Richard Sherman was asked about his thoughts on Rob Gronkowski, and he responded with a brief answer, per Marc Sessler of NFL.com:
Gronkowski Responds to Lane
Friday, Jan. 23
Kyle Brasseur of ESPN has Gronkowski's response to Lanes comments:
Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. They’ve got a great defense overall. We’ve got to be worried about their whole defense. We’ve got to be sure we practice hard, prepare hard all week so we’re ready to roll.
Mike Petraglia of WEEI also added from Gronk:
I’m super excited, no doubt about that. I can’t wait, it’s going to be a lot of fun. Definitely playing a great opponent. I’m super pumped and excited.
ESPN's Terry Blount also provided Pete Carroll's perspective:
Jeremy Lane Calls out Rob Gronkowski
Thursday, Jan. 22
When asked what makes Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots tight end who has nearly as many touchdowns (54) as games played (65) in his career, so good, Lane responded with some classic bulletin-board material, via ESPN.com's Terry Blount:
I actually don't think he's that good. He's OK. He does have a big body. But from what I've seen on tape, he doesn't like you putting your hands on him. So if we put our hands on him and shake him up a little bit, he won't catch that many balls.
Gronkowski was fairly quiet in the first month of the season while he recovered from knee surgery, but he still managed to finish the season with 82 receptions (fourth among tight ends), 1,124 yards (first) and 12 touchdowns (tied for first).
Saying he doesn't like contact is especially strange, considering the 6'6", 265-pound freight train was better than any other receiver at bouncing off of it, per ESPN Insider's Field Yates:
The Seahawks, for the most part, have done a good job shutting down top tight ends with their current defense. Vernon Davis may still have nightmares about Kam Chancellor, Jimmy Graham was held to four catches in two games during the 2013-14 season and Julius Thomas had just three receptions for 17 yards in September.
Still, Seattle's 6'0", 190-pound nickel corner might be best served not providing any extra motivation for one of the most dominant pass-catchers in the league.