Steelers coach knows Rob Gronkowski still is “dangerous” Patriots weapon


Rob Gronkowski isn't the same unstoppable force we've seen in previous seasons, but the New England Patriots tight end still is capable of putting his mark on games.

That was evident in Week 14 when the Miami Dolphins had no answer for him. Gronk tallied eight receptions on eight targets for 107 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots' 34-33 loss in Miami on Sunday.

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is well aware of Gronkowski's abilities despite some of his struggles this season.

"He’s a dangerous man. He’s Gronk," Tomlin told reporters during a conference call Wednesday. "He’s a vertical matchup. He’s a big-time play-maker. He’s good with the ball in his hands after the catch. He’s a big-time competitor. It is a serious job to work to minimize his impact on the game."

Gronkowski has dominated the Steelers in his career, so there are plenty of reasons for Tomlin to be concerned. The veteran tight end has tallied 39 receptions for 664 yards and eight touchdowns in eight career games against the Steelers.

He was the MVP of last year's matchup when he caught nine passes for 168 yards and a key two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter as the Patriots barely held on for a win in Pittsburgh. 

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