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Actually can you stop him Hes going to make hi

first_imgActually, can you stop him?“He’s going to make his plays; you just have got to tackle him,” Arians said. “The biggest thing with Gronk is getting him on the ground after he catches it because if he breaks a tackle, it’s a big play. They thrive on running after the catch and we’ve got to do a great job of tackling.”According to Sportingcharts.com, last season Gronkowski ranked fifth in the NFL in yards after the catch, with 549 on 72 receptions. He totaled 1,176 yards, so roughly 47 percent of his total came after he caught the pass.So, the coach has a point.“Yeah, Gronk is special; he might be, arguably, the best tight end to ever play the game, and he’s still young,” Calais Campbell said. “I’m always excited for the challenge, and I won’t be going against him too often — maybe a couple run plays — but we’ve been working really hard to try to figure out how we can take him out of the game.”Perhaps linebacker Chandler Jones, who was a teammate of Gronkowski’s for four years in New England, has a different perspective?“Gronk, he’s labeled as a tight end, but he’s basically a big receiver,” he said. “He’s a good player. That will be another task at hand, to stop him.” TEMPE, Ariz. — The last time Rob Gronkowski was on the field at University of Phoenix Stadium, he caught six passes for 68 yards and one touchdown as the Patriots beat the Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX.And that could be considered a quiet game for the tight end.Gronkowski, or “Gronk” for short, is a 27-year-old monster who stands in at 6-foot-6 and weighs 265 pounds. A mismatch in every sense of the word, he is probably the one player who scares the Cardinals most coming into Sunday’s game. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories A good chunk of the responsibility for figuring out how to stop Gronkowski will fall on defensive coordinator James Bettcher, who said the Patriot is a special player who everyone knows is the best there is at the tight end position right now.To stop him, Bettcher said it takes putting a mixture of different defenders — cornerbacks, safeties, linebackers and even defensive linemen — on him.“You have to have a little bit of everything in what you do, and that’s the truth,” he added.Bettcher went on to say you have to disrupt the timing of routes, and it would be extremely helpful to get a good pass rush on QB Jimmy Garoppolo.But barring a disastrous defensive breakdown, at least one player will be tasked with tracking the tight end on every play, and one of them, $LB Deone Bucannon, seems like a perfect candidate. But even at 6-foot-1 and roughly 218 pounds Bucannon would still be giving up plenty of size, so he said the key is playing his technique.“Play within the defense, do what you can do,” he said. “And shoot, you’ve got 10 other guys out there with you, you’re not by yourself.”No doubt the Cardinals will be looking to swarm after Gronkowski if and when he catches the ball because, as Arians said, it is important not to allow yards after the catch. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, speaks with tight end Rob Gronkowski, right, during an NFL football training camp practice, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) “So we’re going to have to make sure that we’re on our Ps and Qs at all times to understand where he is, to understand his positions, because where he is in certain formations, how he’s lined up, is going to tell you what’s going to come.”Peterson is confident that if the Cardinals are focused and pick up on what the Patriots are telling them, they will have some success. But stopping Gronkowski is no easy task.“As an athlete, the guy is unreal,” he said. “He’s done some things that receivers can’t even do; he’s going to end up shattering tight end records. I can only imagine he’s probably on Tony Gonzalez’s heels right now for the majority of those records.“But Gronk is an incredible athlete (and) I can’t wait to see how we mount up against him.”Follow Adam Green on Twitter 0 Comments   Share   But when it comes to stopping him entirely, one interesting idea that seems to be in play is putting All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson on the behemoth tight end. It’s a little unconventional, yes, but given that Gronkowski is New England’s best option in the passing game and the Patriots do not really feature a star receiver, there are times where the matchup could make sense.Bettcher, not surprisingly, would not divulge much of the game plan, only saying the possibility exists for Peterson to end up on Gronkowski.Peterson said he has matched up with tight ends before, and mentioned Jimmy Graham when the team played in New Orleans in 2013. Asked if he expects to see a lot of Gronkowski Sunday, he smiled and said, “We’ll see.”The cornerback will not be shadowing the tight end like he does some of the other premier receivers the team faces, but you can probably read a little between the lines with regards to what the team is thinking.That would be a fun matchup between two of the very best the game has to offer at their respective positions. And for the 6-foot-1, 203-pound Peterson, it would be a departure from his normal type of assignment.“A complete animal, the guy is more than a LeBron James at the tight end position — the guy is huge,” the corner said of Gronkowski. “He’s very, very fast; he uses his body well and he’s the guy whenever they’re in trouble, who they want to get the ball to, especially in the red zone. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, when talking about how the Patriots like to use multiple tight ends, pointed out that Gronkowski is in a league of his own.“There’s a bunch of other tight ends, but there’s one Gronk,” he said. “He is a different animal when it comes to defending him but that’s something that we’re very accustomed to.”The thing is, with a player like Gronkowski, a defense can only do so much. The former University of Arizona Wildcat has caught 65 touchdowns in 80 regular season games, has been a Pro Bowler four times and is a three-time First Team All-Pro selection. The only thing that has stopped him since entering the league in 2010 is injury, as he has played all 16 games in a season just twice.Gronkowski has been battling a hamstring injury in training camp, and was listed as “limited” on the official injury report. On Thursday, he said he is not at 100 percent and his status for Sunday will be a coach’s decision.If he does not play, the Cardinals would certainly be catching a break.But if he does play, they will be getting a handful.How do you stop him?“You throw different looks at him, you hit him with different people, and you play physical — that’s the only way,” safety Tyvon Branch said. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img

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