New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski confirmed that he rejected an offseason trade to the Detroit Lions, because the Patriots were the only thing on his mind. And quarterback Tom Brady, of course. Gronk didn’t have any chance of easing the Patriots’ struggles.
Maybe Brady should thank him for this one. The tight end caught a team-high four passes for 51 yards in the Patriots’ game against the Lions. Rob Gronkowski seems to be the only legitimate receiving power in the depleted offense. But, his talent could in no way ease the Patriots’ struggles.
“Yeah, it’s really been three weeks in a row where he’s gotten the majority of the coverage focused on him. If I was a defensive coach, I’d be focusing my attention on him, too. So, it just comes down to us getting them out of that by getting the ball in other parts of the field, different areas, and we just have failed to do that,” Brady said on WEEI’s Kirk & Callahan radio show.
You don’t have to read between the lines to understand the quarterback’s message. Brady needs more from the other receivers. What about Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson? They had just four catches together. Running back Sony Michel had a couple of drops out of the backfield.
“If Gronk’s going to get coverage, it gives other players opportunities. At certain times we’ve done a good job with that, and then (Sunday) night I just didn’t think we did a good job with it at all,” Brady added.
The quarterback completed 14 passes, and that’s his lowest total since Week 17 of the 2015 season. He struggled with the fact that no one could get open. Julian Edelman is serving his suspension, and Josh Gordon wasn’t on the field. The Lions literally blanketed Gronkowski. There was no way for Brady to throw high-percentage passes. Will this change next week?