Patriots

Patriots roll with punches, ready to turn to Allen and Hollister with Gronk out

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Patriots roll with punches, ready to turn to Allen and Hollister with Gronk out

The Patriots know that when it comes to a Rob Gronkowski suspension, things are out of their hands.

"Anything that is out of our control," Bill Belichick said on Monday morning before Gronkowski's one-game ban was announced, "such as injuries that could go down to pregame workouts and so forth . . . Things that are out of our control are out of our control. We’ll address the things that we can address."

If the Patriots are forced to go without Gronkowski -- he's appealing the suspension -- they'll be down their most dynamic offensive weapon. But his absence is something that they've obviously dealt with in the past, and as recently as Week 5 in Tampa Bay. 

Gronkowski was a late scratch from that game with a leg injury, and the Patriots eventually edged the Bucs, 19-14, with their All-Pro tight end watching from the sidelines. Tom Brady threw the ball 40 times, relying on receivers Chris Hogan (11 targets), Brandin Cooks (eight), Danny Amendola (eight) and running back James White (nine). Only one tight end, Jacob Hollister, saw a pass sent his way. 

Dwayne Allen, who did not see target in the four games leading up to the Week 9 bye, could factor into the Patriots passing game more significantly if Gronkowski is out. Allen's seen seven throws in four games since the Week 9 bye, catching five for 40 yards.

In all likelihood, though, Patriots receivers and backs will have to split the majority of the passes that would normally go Gronkowski's way if he sits. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels could also rely on their running game, led by Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead, which has been highly efficient of late.

Regardless of Gronkowski's fate, Allen should continue to see significant work as a blocker, where the Patriots have been very pleased with his progress.

"Dwayne’s had a very solid role for us all year long. He’s played a lot of football, and I’m sure he’ll continue to play a lot of football for us," Belichick said. "Dwayne works hard. He does what we ask him to do. He tries his best to do it the way that we ask him to do it. Some things are different than the way he was taught to do them in the past, but he’s been very open and receptive to trying to do what the team needs him to do on any particular play or situation or technique or whatever it happens to be. So, he’s been a great guy to have on the team. He’s got a great attitude, he’s willing to do anything that we’ve asked him to do to help the football team, and you can’t ask for any more than that."

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King: It was football, not family that kept McDaniels with Patriots

King: It was football, not family that kept McDaniels with Patriots

There have been all kinds of theories of what ultimately kept Josh McDaniels from taking the Indianapolis Colts head coaching job.

NBC Sports Boston Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran offered his here and here. Ex-Pats linebacker Willie McGinest said he was told it wasn't because McDaniels was promised to eventually succeed Bill Belichick. 

Now comes Sports Illustrated's Peter King, who told NBCSports Network's "PFT Live" that you can cross off the theory that McDaniels' reversal was about not wanting to move his family to Indianapolis. 

“This had nothing to do with his family,” King said. “It was about the Patriots giving him a better option than Indianapolis.”

More here from NBCSports.com's Pro Football Talk. 



 

Report: WWE trying to sign Rob Gronkowski

Report: WWE trying to sign Rob Gronkowski

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has hinted about walking away from football at 28 and apparently World Wrestling Entertainment is listening.

According to Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer newsletter, WWE is willing to offer Gronk a "similar style deal" that it offered UFC star Ronda Rousey, who made her WWE debut late last month, is scheduled to be part of its "Elimination Chamber" event Feb. 25 and is being advertised as being part of their WrestleMania signature event April 8.

Gronk was part of Wrestlemania last year (see video below) and his friend, wrestler Mojo Rawley, hinted earlier this week that Gronkowski might be looking to give up football for the ring. Gronk has also reportedly been considering retiring to pursue a movie career.