Brian Waters on Osi Umenyiora complaining, Tony Gonzalez as best tight end ‘by far’
|01.27.12 at 8:19 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Brian Waters laughed out loud when told Friday that Osi Umenyiora was complaining that Matt Light does things to get under his skin.
Is it possible for the Patriots to play mental games and get under the skin of one of the most important defensive linemen in Super Bowl XLVI?
“There is a little bit of that but for the most part, it’s a physical game,” Waters said. “The mental part is making sure you know who you’re blocking from play to play. For them, they have their own assignments that they have to be accountable to. That’s probably the strongest mental part. All the other itty-bitty games that are played during the course of a game, there’s definitely going to be some of that gamesmanship at some point.”
Umenyiora and Light have quite the history. They got into a fight in the 2007 regular season finale. They got into it in Super Bowl XLII. And yes, they got into it again when the Giants visited Foxboro in November. What will happen in two weeks in Indianapolis?
“I don’t know what it is but it’s something he does that really gets under my skin,” Umenyiora said.
“Honestly, if we know who to block and the physical part is finishing and putting out and not getting outworked then I feel like we have a good chance,” Waters said. “What he’s talking about, I don’t know, you’d have to ask Matt. I’m sure they’d be able to explain a little bit better than me.”
Meanwhile, Waters played nine seasons with future hall of fame tight end Tony Gonzalez. On Friday, he was asked to compare Gonzalez to Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski.
“Totally different,” Waters said. “I think that there’s a little bit of Tony in both of those guys. I think both of those guys are definitely, not to knock Tony because I have a great amount of respect for Tony but both of those guys are tremendous athletes to go along with their skill. Tony, to me, is by far the best tight end to ever play. These two guys give you something that a lot of teams haven’t ever had to my knowledge. I don’t know the history of football, you probably could ask [Bill Belichick] or some of the older coaches about it, but to be honest with you, I haven’t seen a duo like this since I’ve been in the league by far.”
Gonzalez is regarded as the best pass-catching tight end while Gronk and Hernandez are known as exceptional runners with the ball in their hands.
“Gronk’s ability to block, amongst Aaron’s versatility, their intelligence for their game – they clearly have a great understanding for [Tom Brady], a feel for the game and how he’s looking at the game and connecting with both of them,” Waters said. “The way they finish each play and their ability to make plays outside, inside, red zone, middle of the field, the ability to catch the ball in front of them, over their shoulder – they have an unbelievable amount of skill that they use and they’re just getting better. They’re at the beginning of how good they’re going to be.”
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