Rob Gronkowski Doesn't Blame Defensive Backs for Physical Coverage

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2017

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 7: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots looks on before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium on September 7, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski acknowledged he would be physical in his coverage if he was a defensive back.

"If I was one of those DBs, and you've seen film over the last few years, I would definitely be doing that if I was a DB—100 percent," he said, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. "You don't really see it called ever, so I've just got to play with it. Play how the game is called. If I was a DB, I'd do that, too."

His comments came after he was held to a mere two catches for 33 yards in New England's season-opening 42-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Reiss pointed out five-time Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry was plenty physical with Gronkowski, which helped him limit the star tight end's overall impact on the contest.

Gronkowski also said he prefers not to worry about how an official may view his own physicality because doing so makes him feel "off my game."

While Gronkowski played just eight games last season and missed the playoffs after back surgery, he is a physical presence when healthy. It is difficult for most safeties to match him at 6'6" and 265 pounds, and the result is a number of game-changing plays when he sheds tackles and outmuscles defenders in the red zone.

The four-time Pro Bowler and his teammates will look to get back on track Sunday when they take on the New Orleans Saints in their first road game of the season.

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