Rob Gronkowski admits he hasn't been as effective as he would like


FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski is coming off of one of his rockier performances in recent memory. Because he didn't meet with reporters after his team's 24-10 win over the Vikings last weekend, his first time speaking to the media since then came on Friday afternoon. 

Though he was removed from the injury report on Thursday, and though he's played in all but two plays over the course of the last two weeks, Gronkowski was asked if he's been as effective as he'd like with all those snaps.


"That's a tough question a little bit," he said. "I feel like obviously I can be more effective, for sure. But what I've been doing is just putting practices together. Working hard. Doing what I've been asked to do for my teammates, coaches. Just gotta keep doing that and keep sticking to that."

Gronkowski has been on and off the injury report with ankle and back issues, but he didn't blame any physical ailments for what happened last weekend. He had three penalties, caught three passes for 26 yards, and was not as impactful as he often is in the run game. 

"I can grow in the passing game definitely," Gronkowski said. "I can grow in the run game even more at times. Just whatever it is, gotta go out there and play my best football."

From Tom Brady's perspective, Gronkowski is still worth of a rare level of trust. 

"Any time that he's out there," Brady said, "I have so much confidence in everything that he does. If they don't cover him, he gets it. If they cover him it gives other people opportunities. That's been our offense. The other night was a lot of different guys getting it. That's a good way to play offense. Run it. Pass it. Inside. Outside. Deep. Short. Middle. Perimeter. That's a good style for us."

When the Patriots head down to Miami, they'll employ whatever style helps them kick their habit of playing poorly when they travel to play the Dolphins. The running game could be the lynchpin of their attack since their opponent is 27th in the league in yards allowed per carry (5.0). 

Whether it's the running game or the passing attack, Gronkowski has been key almost from the day he arrived as a second-round pick in 2010. But even he would admit that lately he hasn't been as effective as he'd like.

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