In a sport where the top position players are often debated, Rob Gronkowski has virtually no competition at tight end.
Gronkowski is unmatched by other tight ends in terms of size, speed, and hands, and it certainly helps when he has Tom Brady throwing him the ball.
This year, Gronk already has 40 catches for 646 yards and seven touchdowns, putting him on pace for a 91-catch, 1,477-yard, 16-touchdown season, according to NESN’s Doug Kyed.
With a receiving weapon like that, it also makes Brady’s job easier. Brady explained to reporters what makes Gronkowski so good and such an easy target to throw to:
“Gronk running down the seam, he’s such a big target. I think he’s got a great catch radius. He’s got great speed. I don’t know what he was timed when he came out of college, but he gives great body language when he runs. I can really tell when he really starts to accelerate, and he feels like he can run by the guy that is on him.
“Even the throw I made the other night to him, it wasn’t even really a great throw. But because he was by him so far, he was able to adjust and make it. He makes a tough play on the defender. The guy’s running so hard to catch up, then you throw it a little bit behind Gronk, the guy’s really out of control playing him.”
Brady added it’s different throwing to Gronkowski — and surely a nice change of pace — compared to throwing to receivers like Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, who are 5-foot-10 and 5-foot-11, respectively.
This is an interesting analysis from Brady, as it’s somewhat different than what we often hear about the NFL’s top receivers. As opposed to quarterbacks that say they can throw wide or high and let their receivers go get it, Brady says he can underthrow the ball, and defenders are trying so hard to keep up with Gronk, that Gronk can stop and make the catch while defenders are out of control.
It’s difficult to tell what’s a planned route versus an adjustment by Gronkowski, but in the last two weeks, as Gronk has racked up 221 yards and two touchdowns, it seems as if there’s been a few examples of Brady underthrowing to Gronk:
With Gronk only just hitting his prime and Brady planning on playing for another ten years, this should remain one of the most dynamic passing duos in the NFL.
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