Not Gronk, not Hernandez -- Silvestro finds end zone for Pats

Not Gronk, not Hernandez -- Silvestro finds end zone for Pats
August 21, 2012, 6:10 am
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FOXBORO -- Alex Silvestro went from defensive lineman to tight end. And on Monday night against the Philadelphia Eagles, he took advantage of not having to compete with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

The Patriots' top-two tight ends got the night off, and Silvestro didn't disappoint, making his first NFL catch, and then following it up with a seven-yard touchdown reception from Ryan Mallett in the second quarter.

The touchdown came on 3rd-and-goal from the 7-yard line, as Mallett stepped up into the pocket and found Silvestro open at the front-right corner of the end zone. After a successful two-point conversion, the Patriots took an 11-0 lead in the opening minutes of the second quarter.

"It was just the route they told me to run," said Silvestro after New England's 27-17 loss to Philadelphia. "I just went with what they said, and I was open.

"When I turned around, he threw it right on the money. So it was a good pass by Mallett. I just saw it, and I just tried snagging it."

Mallett praised Silvestro's route, more than his own throw.

"Alex did a good job getting open," said Mallett. "I was looking over there to begin with, and he beat the linebacker and the corner left, so I gave him a ball and he made me look good."

Silvestro finished the game with a combined two receptions for 18 yards and the touchdown. It's not the type of numbers that Gronkowski and Hernandez usually put up, but seeing that he's a converted defensive end, it's good enough.

And he's still learning the position.

"I feel like we've got a pretty big tight end group now, and I feel like they've got a lot of experience, and Gronkowski and Hernandez are always helping and chipping in and giving good advice," said Silvestro. "Obviously on stuff that they've seen and they've experienced. It's the kind of stuff that I haven't experienced, so, just seeing stuff like that and trying to use what they give me, and try to help improve my play."