Found June 16, 2013 on
Football and Futbol:
The tight end position in American football has evolved to arguably the most vital position in a modern day offensive package. A talented and productive tight end not only is a key extra blocker for when a running back scampers to the outside right, but he also needs to be fast enough to catch a ball down field and move the chains. Certain NFL teams utilize the tight end position more so than others such as the San Francisco 49ers with Vernon Davis or the Atlanta Falcons with Tony Gonzalez. With that being said, no team in the NFL has utilized the tight end position like the New England Patriots and no tight end in the NFL is as valuable to a team as Rob Gronkowski.
Rob Gronkowski Twitter Page (@RobGronkowski)
Robert James Gronkowski, known as ‘Gronk’ to fans and players of the game, was drafted by the Patriots out of the University of Arizona in the 2nd round of the 2010 NFL draft. In week one of his rookie year Gronk caught a touchdown pass from Brady against the Cincinnati Bengals in the 4th quarter. In week ten against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Gronk caught 3 TD’s from Brady to set an NFL record as the youngest player ever to record 3 touchdowns in a game at 21 years old. 2011 season only saw Gronk blossom into a bonafide superstar as he went on to record 17 receiving touchdowns and become the first tight end in NFL history to lead the league in receiving touchdowns. He did all of this with the Patriots implementing a 2 tight end scheme many times utilizing Aaron Hernandez, who in his own right, has done an amazing job himself under the tutelage of The Matinee Idol aka Tom Brady.
Despite all the accolades, playoff games and media darling he has become, “yo soy fiesta” anyone?, he has also been plagued with vicious injuries since his record setting sophomore season. Gronk’s first major NFL injury came in the 2nd half of the 2011 AFC championship game against the Baltimore Ravens when he suffered a high ankle sprain on a tackle by Ravens safety Bernard Pollard. After the Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants, he had surgery on his ankle to repair torn ligaments. After signing a six year $54 million extension the following season, the largest ever for a tight end, Gronk broke his left forearm late in the 4th quarter against the Indianapolis Colts in week 11 despite the fact the Pats were winning by 20+ points, way to go Bill Bellicheck you egomaniac. Gronk came back after a month and a half off and re injured the same forearm against the Houston Texans in the first quarter of the AFC divisional game. He required a second surgery to the forearm he had injured less than 2 months prior. Four months ago, Gronk was diagnosed with an infection to the same forearm he had surgery on twice and was then cut open again to clean the infected area. On May 20, Gronk underwent a fourth surgery on the same forearm in the span of a year to replace implanted hardware from the 2nd procedure and to keep cleaning out his infection. Just when you think Gronk was injured enough, it was revealed on Friday that Gronk will be having back surgery on Tuesday and could miss the start of the NFL season.
Lets do the math. That is five surgeries related to two injuries in the span of a year and a half. Many people around the league are concerned if Gronk will ever be able to compete at the level he showed prior to his surgeries. As many of you already know by now, the Pats signed Tim Tebow. Since he is awful at quarterback and they already have a future hall of famer in Tom Brady, many believe that he might be utilized as the 2nd tight end opposite Aaron Hernandez while Gronkowski is out recovering from back surgery. All of the injuries in such a short time do not bode well for Gronk and it is really sad to see such a promising career in the NFL be cut short with devastating injuries. Although I am hopeful to see him back in the pads, I also have my doubts if he will ever perform up to his prior years. That remains to be seen but here is what is certain. If the pats ever want to hoist the Lombardi trophy again, they are going to need a healthy and productive Rob Gronkowski because after Tom Brady, he is arguably the most important piece to a successful Patriots season.
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