EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 02: Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots carries a reception into the endzone past Antrel Rolle of the New York Giants for a first quarter touchdown on September 2, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
The Patriots went out of their box and gave Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez long term deals, but so far, their production hasn’t matched the money. Both have had injuries, and both had missed key stretches of the 2012 season.
In New England, it’s the Patriot way or the highway, and for Aqib Talib, he might want to start the engine. One thing that Bill Belichick watches for is how much a player works at his craft. In his documentary ‘A Football Life,” Belichick sat in a meeting with coaches and emphasized that players were leaving after practice without any extra work, as if there wasn’t more that they could be working on.
The Patriots have been somewhat burned so far in giving Hernandez and Gronkowski long term deals only to see their production drop and both becoming injury prone. Gronkowski is quickly becoming more of a poster boy for the party life than for catching touchdowns.
A video in Las Vegas during the Super Bowl has Gronkowski wrestling with his friend; not only childish, but a danger to his arm. Belichick is one of the hardest working coaches in the business, and he wants his players in the same mold. According to csnne.com, Talib turned down opportunities to get some extra work during the season; couple that with injuries and questions about conditioning and off field behavior, it’s a risk the Patriots may not want to make.
Talib fits the mold of what the Patriots want in a corner physically, however, they seem to be doubting him on the mental side.