Times are tough in Foxborough right now, and internal conflicts appear to be brewing.
After a brutal two-game stretch offensively, the New England Patriots are looking for answers. The brother of star tight end Rob Gronkowski thinks he has some.
Chris Gronkowski, a former NFL fullback himself, told a Boston sports radio network WEEI Tuesday that Gronk is becoming “super frustrated” with the double-teams he’s facing on a daily basis.
“I can just tell by his emotions, his facial features, that he’s super frustrated with it. You can see at the end of the game, how they ended the game double-covering him, pressing him off the line,” Chris told the radio station.
Chris went on to point out that defenses have been devoting two members of their secondary to covering Gronkowski, rather than using a linebacker. That leaves receivers with winnable matchups on the outside, which they aren’t winning, he said.
Gronkowski has only managed a meager six catches for 66 yards in the two losses combined. In New England’s Week 1 win over the Houston Texans, he reeled in seven catches for 123 yards.
Chris certainly makes a decent point, as the Patriots certainly aren’t bursting at the seams with receiver talent right now. The most decorated receiver the Pats ran out there the first three weeks was a college lacrosse player.
But was it wise to share all of Gronk’s thoughts at a time when New England is searching for stability? Their have been reports of tension throughout the organization ever since ESPN’s Brady-Belichick story broke over the summer. The Patriots certainly don’t need anything else to strain the locker room as the NFL world once again breaks into “Is the Patriots dynasty ending?” mode.
Luckily for the Patriots, help is on the way in the form of established pass-catchers Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon.
Edelman was suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Tom Brady’s safety blanket is set to return for the team’s Week 5 matchup with the Colts. Gordon, the oft-troubled but mega-talented former Brown, was just acquired from the Browns last week.
If those guys can’t create separation on the outside and give Gronk some breathing room, no one can.