Rob Gronkowski is finally starting to put his injury woes behind him after making his debut in Week 7 for the New England Patriots. After health issue, back surgeries and forearm repairs, the tight end is back and insisting he is better than ever. With Tom Brady concerned over the Patriots offensive inconsistencies, Gronkowski is asking for a bigger role.
Gronkowski admits that he was nervous to get back on the field in Week 7. He was active on 51 of 79 snaps against the New York Jets, putting up eight catches for 114 yards. Now he is requesting more, vowing to improve with each game.
"You always get the jitters, first game back and everything, [but] it's just football now," Gronkowski said, via the Patriots team website. "This is my fourth year and I just have to go out there and do what I have to do. Listen to the coaches. Listen to the players. And just practice to the best of my ability so I can be ready for Sunday. [I'm] just trying to improve my game. And by improving your game, it's improving your conditioning. Improving your strength, improving your routes, improving your blocking."
The Patriots need improvment. After getting beat by the New York Jets, the team is looking to bounce back and put their struggles behind them. The team is averaging just 21 points a game, ranking 20th in passing yards and 13th in the league in rushing. Brady is doing his best with the inexperience he is working with, but he believes the team is capable of more.
"We haven't done great on offense this year period, so there are probably a lot of places we've struggled: in the third quarter and at the end of games and third downs and red area and short yardage," Brady said. "So, I think we are trying to work on a lot of things, and it is basic overall execution. There are no special plays or things like that for situations. We just haven't done a great job executing period at certain points."
The Patriots are now 5-2 as the host the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. With Gronkowski back, the team has a new added dimension to their offense and Brady will only improve with the extra target. He is confident the team is headed in the right direction.
"We're 5-2, we're at a decent place," Brady said. "We're a long ways from the end of the season. Based on what we've done so far, there's a lot of room for improvement. Imagine if we make the improvement. I think that is the positive."