Finally, ‘Full Gronk’ returns as Rob Gronkowski shows true form: ‘When we’re clicking, we’re clicking’
|11.04.13 at 1:38 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Rob Gronkowski may have come back to the Patriots on Oct. 20 in New Jersey against the Jets. He may have played against the Dolphins on Oct. 27 at Gillette Stadium.
But on Sunday, nearly a full 12 months after breaking his left forearm on an extra point in a 59-28 win over the Colts, Patriots fans finally got to witness the return of the “Full Gronk” (TD spike above, and all) in another 50-point extravaganza at Gillette.
Gronkowski caught seven passes on the first seven times he was targeted by Tom Brady. One of those was his first touchdown catch of the season, a 19-yarder from Brady in the second quarter.
Gronkowski finished with a career high nine catches on 10 targets and 143 yards in the 55-31 laugher over the Steelers.
“When we’re clicking, we’re clicking and it’s awesome. We’ve just got to keep working hard, keep improving, and keep doing things like that,” Gronkowski said afterward. “It takes a lot of work. Overall, together as an offense, it was a great team win. We were out there in a rhythm, but there’s a lot to improve on. We can get better as a whole. It felt good getting more games under me and I’m feeling good. [I’m getting] better every week.”
What really made Sunday significant was the impact Gronkowski had on the other parts of the offense. His presence alone started to really open things up for other weapons for the first time, including fellow receivers Danny Amendola (four catches, 122 yards, TD) and Aaron Dobson (five catches, 130 yards, TD). Stevan Ridley chipped in with 26 carries for 115 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
“They had huge games and that’s what’s so great about working together as a team and working together as an offense,” Gronkowski said. “Everyone starts clicking and everyone’s contributing. The running backs; I think Ridley ran for over 100, Amendola and Dobson went for over 100 [yards], the offensive line was doing a great job blocking, and Brady was on point throwing the ball. It’s great when that’s happening and we’ve just got to keep on improving. Overall it was a great team win.”
Now, Gronkowski and the rest of the Patriots nearly a full week to rest for their next game, Nov. 18 at Carolina.
“Every game’s important every week, but going into the bye week is definitely a big win,” Gronkowski said. “During the bye week now, we’ve got a lot of players banged up. That’s how it is throughout the NFL.”
There was only one scare Sunday. It came in the third quarter when Steelers safety Ryan Clark drilled Gronkowski in a tender spot and Gronkowski had to limp off. “He’s one of the hardest hitters in football and he got me in the groin, you know where,” Gronkowski said with a smile. Gronkowski was seen loosening the tender spot on the sidelines for several snaps before returning none the worse for wear.
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