New England Patriots

Tom Brady details one ‘unbelievable' aspect of Rob Gronkowski's skill set

Gronkowski is the most dominant tight end in NFL history.

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There were many facets of Rob Gronkowski's Hall of Fame-caliber skill set that stood out.

We really had never seen an NFL tight end at his size (6-foot-6 and 265 pounds) move as fast as him and run routes better than him. He also was the best blocking tight end of all time.

Gronkowski's dominance as a pass-catching tight end with the New England Patriots helped spark a huge wave of players at the position coming into the league as above-average receivers. There were good pass-catching tight ends before Gronkowski was drafted in 2010, of course, but the amount of players with that ability coming into the league has ramped up quite a bit over the last 13 years.

Gronkowski tallied 621 receptions for 9,286 yards with 92 touchdowns over 11 seasons as a player for the Patriots (2010 through 2018) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2020 and 2021).

In his second season, 2011, Gronkowski hauled in 90 receptions for 1,327 yards and a league-leading 17 receiving touchdowns. For a tight end to put up those kinds of numbers was incredible (and still is).

How did Gronkowski dominate opposing defenses in the passing attack?

It definitely helped that he was stronger than most of the defensive players who tried to slow him down. But when you also have wide receiver-like quickness and the ability to run wide receiver routes as a tight end, that's when it becomes really, really tough for opposing defenses to stop you.

Former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady detailed this part of Gronkowski's skill set during a recent episode of his Let's Go! podcast.

"Robbie G had the route tree of a receiver, which is really hard for a guy who is 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds -- to run full speed and stop, to run full speed and make cuts like a wide receiver could, is unbelievable," Brady said.

Brady and Gronkowski are arguably the greatest quarterback/pass-catcher duo in the history of the sport. They won four Super Bowl titles together and put up crazy stats on a consistent basis for more than a decade.

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