2018 Gronk Watch

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dcmissle

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Curran on Gronk: "I don't think there's any chance he's back next year. They'll put him on a dolly and wheel him out of town if they have to." #Patriots
They won’t have to. He is very likely to retire.

I can’t see him interested in being sidelined every other game and falling significantly short of his career performance.
 

BigJimEd

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I’m not sure what you’re looking for here. Would you prefer I say ‘one of best’? Is there someone bigger I’m missing? I’m not sure how what’s up for debate. He’s over 61% reception rate, with 129 targets in red zone in 109 games with 55 tds in his career, not including playoffs. He has two targets and zero catches in seven games this year. If you don’t think that’s some kind of anomaly, then good on ya. I disagree. Something is different.
Yes. Something is different. What is different is the question.
 

johnmd20

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Yes. Something is different. What is different is the question.
Gronk's numerous injuries have finally caught up to him. He's not the same runner. Belichick must have noticed this a while ago because he did try to trade Gronk. Maybe it's a short term thing but tight ends tend to completely fall off a cliff, Tony Gonzalez excepted.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Yes. Something is different. What is different is the question.
Well what do you think it is? You’re claiming it’s just a change in options. They were depleted for weapons the first four or fives games of the year and they didn’t throw to the guys who has a TD catch rate of over 70% in the red zone in his career. So, they just felt like mixing it up? He’s hurt or declining.
 

BigJimEd

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Well what do you think it is? You’re claiming it’s just a change in options. They were depleted for weapons the first four or fives games of the year and they didn’t throw to the guys who has a TD catch rate of over 70% in the red zone in his career. So, they just felt like mixing it up? He’s hurt or declining.
I don't know what it is. It might be something physical with him. I'm not ruling it out. I think he probably is and has been in his decline phase. It might also be a different approach by the offense or defense. Or it could be a combination of all of the above. The question is how much of what.

As for the lack of weapons, The fact that they have higher TD % in the the last than the last few years suggests that might not have been as much of an issue in the red zone as we thought.

If they were struggling in the red zone and still not targeting Gronk than that would be more damning to me. The fact that they've been successful leads some credence to "taking what the defense gives".
 

Al Zarilla

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Gronk's numerous injuries have finally caught up to him. He's not the same runner. Belichick must have noticed this a while ago because he did try to trade Gronk. Maybe it's a short term thing but tight ends tend to completely fall off a cliff, Tony Gonzalez excepted.
Antonio Gates.
 

BaseballJones

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Well what do you think it is? You’re claiming it’s just a change in options. They were depleted for weapons the first four or fives games of the year and they didn’t throw to the guys who has a TD catch rate of over 70% in the red zone in his career. So, they just felt like mixing it up? He’s hurt or declining.
Maybe someone should look at all the red zone plays the Pats have had this year with Gronk in the lineup and see what transpired on every play. That might give us some clues. Maybe he's been doubled. Maybe he's having trouble getting separation. Maybe they're running more. Maybe Brady has just not looked his way for some reason. Maybe it's a combination of all that.
 

dcmissle

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Ben Watson. (he was never at the top of the mountain, but he's yet to go over the side).
Jason Witten. 15-year career. Probably peaked “09-12, but few peaks and valleys. Overall, a steady highly productive run.
 

johnmd20

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Jason Witten. 15-year career. Probably peaked “09-12, but few peaks and valleys. Overall, a steady highly productive run.
Witten is another guy but he didn't have the surgeries and medical history of Gronk. Gronk's been rebuilt multiple times, that just adds so much more wear and tear.
 

dcmissle

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He’s an ancient 29. It seems to me he was drafted yesterday, but when he was drafted it was after missing his junior year after having surgery for a bulging disk in his back. Nine year HOF career. I’ll take it.

I’m glad that beneath the goofy exterior is a very smart guy. A guy who at last check has invested every after-tax dollar he has earned on an NFL payroll.

I hope he has a white hot second half, followed by retirement.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Jason Witten. 15-year career. Probably peaked “09-12, but few peaks and valleys. Overall, a steady highly productive run.
I had once hoped that Gronk could adapt into a Witten-level ability to avoid big hits, but he has been cursed by his own athleticism and ability to stretch the field (and long injury history, of course). Just never was going to be the guy catching all the simple out and curl routes to the sticks that Witten specialized in. I still remember Witten's 18 catch game where nearly everything was 8-10 yards and there's a 100% chance that at least once Joe Buck said that he and Romo were "just out there playing pitch and catch."
 

BigSoxFan

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He’s an ancient 29. It seems to me he was drafted yesterday, but when he was drafted it was after missing his junior year after having surgery for a bulging disk in his back. Nine year HOF career. I’ll take it.

I’m glad that beneath the goofy exterior is a very smart guy. A guy who at last check has invested every after-tax dollar he has earned on an NFL payroll.

I hope he has a white hot second half, followed by retirement.
I remember reading that a 10 year NFL vet gets an additional annuity on top of his pension that a 9 year veteran wouldn't receive. Anyone know the estimated amount? Wondering if it's enough for Gronk to consider returning in 2019 to play out the balance of his contract.
 

BaseballJones

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Not sure exactly where to put this, but I'd consider the Pats' main offensive weapons to be: Gronk, Gordon, Edelman, Michel, and White. That group has played together in the following games:

vs Ind - 38 points, 438 total yards
vs KC - 40 points, 500 total yards
at NYJ - 27 points, 498 total yards

So when their main five skill position players are all playing, they've averaged 35.0 points and 479 yards per game.

If they stay healthy, I don't think offense is going to be the problem with this team.
 

Saints Rest

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He’s an ancient 29. It seems to me he was drafted yesterday, but when he was drafted it was after missing his junior year after having surgery for a bulging disk in his back. Nine year HOF career. I’ll take it.

I’m glad that beneath the goofy exterior is a very smart guy. A guy who at last check has invested every after-tax dollar he has earned on an NFL payroll.

I hope he has a white hot second half, followed by retirement.
I started wondering the other day if the rumors of BB trying to trade Gronk during the offseason was another example (in a BB career filled with other examples) of trying to get the most for a star a year early, before decline starts to set in. In the other cases (Seymour, Mankins, to name a couple), the decline took a couple years but was out of our immediate sight. In this case, we may end up watching Gronk go from All-World TE, to Pro-Bowl level, to wily oft-injured vet, to shell of his former self.
 

BaseballJones

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What's the worst-case for Gronk?* He's always going to be 6'6", 265ish pounds, with a HUGE catch radius, and great great hands. At the end, Ben Coates was really slow, but he was still pretty effective. Gronk could end up being a guy who is a really good blocking TE, with sure hands who is a terrific outlet receiver. That wouldn't be a pro-bowl player, but not at all a bad guy to have on the team. In fact, if you draft the "next" great TE, Gronk would probably be an *awesome* #2 TE, because they can't double him, and they'll devote their primary pass-defending resources elsewhere, and Gronk could make them pay.

I don't know what that kind of Gronk would cost a team, and whether Gronk would want to stay in the league for that.

*(I suppose worst-case is that he's always hurt and can't actually play)
 

tims4wins

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For all of the consternation about Gronk, his numbers would project to a 16 game season of 69 catches (ha) for 1,019 yards and 5 TDs. Not peak Gronk but still pretty damn good. TDs remain low but they can be fluky. Would anyone be surprised if he scores 3 or 4 more times this year? I wouldn’t.
 

BaseballJones

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Gronk isn’t GRONK but he’s still a good NFL tight end. Hardly “cooked”, but he’s just not the same guy. I agree with the article - there’s still some big plays left in Rob Gronkowski.
 

eustis22

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I'd be happy to be surprised but I find that either the pats are keeping their TE Red Zone offense under wraps all year long OR the Gronk is saving everything for the playoffs scenarios problemmatical.
 

Van Everyman

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Didn’t this video make the rounds a few months ago? What am I missing?

I'd be happy to be surprised but I find that either the pats are keeping their TE Red Zone offense under wraps all year long OR the Gronk is saving everything for the playoffs scenarios problemmatical.
They did this with Danny Amendola for, like, 3 years in a row. So it would hardly be unprecedented.
 

minischwab

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Here are the numbers when targeting Gronk in the end zone, year by year for his career:
2010: 6 target, 6 TD
2011: 17 target, 13 TD
2012: 13 target, 7 TD
2013: 4 target, 1 TD
2014: 9 target, 6 TD
2015: 12 target, 4 TD
2016: 4 target, 1 TD
2017: 9 target, 4 TD
2019: 7 target, 0 TD

That puts him at 28% rec percentage since 2015. That's 49th in the NFL over that span among players with 20+ targets in the end zone. Obviously the first few years were amazing and not sustainable, and I'm not sure if its a change in how teams defend him, how the Pats use him, play calling, or something else yet but that's pretty alarming and not a confidence inspiring trending heading into the playoffs.
 

DrewDawg

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So the last 6 seasons he's averaged 7.5 red zone targets per year and this year he had 7? That's not a precipitous drop.

But the 0 TDs is interesting, but I don't have the ability to pull film and see if that's sample size noise or something like Gronk can't jump as high, so jump balls aren't an option, etc...
 

SirPsychoSquints

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So the last 6 seasons he's averaged 7.5 red zone targets per year and this year he had 7? That's not a precipitous drop.

But the 0 TDs is interesting, but I don't have the ability to pull film and see if that's sample size noise or something like Gronk can't jump as high, so jump balls aren't an option, etc...
End zone, not red zone. Do we have those numbers, including receptions (not just TD)?
 

Van Everyman

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I distinctly remember a Gronk Spike a few games ago. Was he not targeted in the end zone on that play?

Anyway, I don't doubt there's performance drop-off here but he was blanketed by opposing teams for most of the year. With Edelman out for the first four games and Gordon still learning the playbook for a number of games as well, teams doubled him regularly. It's not unreasonable to think that this season's down numbers were as likely due to a combination of poor health and scheme as him falling off a cliff.

And, to my earlier point, I do wonder if they've bubble wrapped him a bit for the playoffs a la Amendola. He looked close to vintage in the 30 yard play that got called back against the Jets due to that obscenely weak OPI call on Allen. I'm not necessarily expecting it, but would something like 7 or 8 catches for ~100 yards in the divisional round against the Texans at Gillette after a bye week really be shocking?
 

DrewDawg

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End zone, not red zone. Do we have those numbers, including receptions (not just TD)?
Ack, but it doesn't change my point at all. His targets are essentially the same, it's just the TDs that are missing. Why that is could be a number of things which we don't know yet.


I distinctly remember a Gronk Spike a few games ago. Was he not targeted in the end zone on that play?
Perhaps the target wasn't in the end zone. If he caught the ball at the 10 and rumbled in then it wouldn't be in these numbers.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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I distinctly remember a Gronk Spike a few games ago. Was he not targeted in the end zone on that play?

Anyway, I don't doubt there's performance drop-off here but he was blanketed by opposing teams for most of the year. With Edelman out for the first four games and Gordon still learning the playbook for a number of games as well, teams doubled him regularly. It's not unreasonable to think that this season's down numbers were as likely due to a combination of poor health and scheme as him falling off a cliff.

And, to my earlier point, I do wonder if they've bubble wrapped him a bit for the playoffs a la Amendola. He looked close to vintage in the 30 yard play that got called back against the Jets due to that obscenely weak OPI call on Allen. I'm not necessarily expecting it, but would something like 7 or 8 catches for ~100 yards in the divisional round against the Texans at Gillette after a bye week really be shocking?
No, he caught it at the 1 yard line and fell in for a TD.
 

tims4wins

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I just went back through all the Patriots touchdowns from this year and on all 3 of Gronk’s TDs he caught the ball at the 1. So the whole end zone targets and catches stat seems a little dumb.
 

koufax32

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I just went back through all the Patriots touchdowns from this year and on all 3 of Gronk’s TDs he caught the ball at the 1. So the whole end zone targets and catches stat seems a little dumb.
I assume these were box out routes and not quick slants or the line? If his ez targets are down because they’ve abandoned the Gronk fade/jump ball “route” I’m okay with that. Anecdotally I’m having a hard time remembering that play actually working.
 

tims4wins

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I assume these were box out routes and not quick slants or the line? If his ez targets are down because they’ve abandoned the Gronk fade/jump ball “route” I’m okay with that. Anecdotally I’m having a hard time remembering that play actually working.
Couple were actually back shoulder fades. One seem vs the Jets.
 

ifmanis5

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I think a lot of us felt like this was the last Gronk season. Is it possible the Pats can extend his career a year or two by having him mainly stay in as a blocker as they have lately? Would Gronk be okay with that plan and would that be worth a roster spot?
 

joe dokes

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I think a lot of us felt like this was the last Gronk season. Is it possible the Pats can extend his career a year or two by having him mainly stay in as a blocker as they have lately? Would Gronk be okay with that plan and would that be worth a roster spot?
Yes, but there may be a salary dispute.
 

bluefenderstrat

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I think a lot of us felt like this was the last Gronk season. Is it possible the Pats can extend his career a year or two by having him mainly stay in as a blocker as they have lately? Would Gronk be okay with that plan and would that be worth a roster spot?
There's a spot for Dwayne Allen right now. Draft a receiving TE and use Gronk like they did this year (obviously even a diminished Gronk is still a good route runner & receiver), and it would be viable.
 

Oppo

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I think a lot of us felt like this was the last Gronk season. Is it possible the Pats can extend his career a year or two by having him mainly stay in as a blocker as they have lately? Would Gronk be okay with that plan and would that be worth a roster spot?
Start the year on IR or PUP to save early season wear and tear
 
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