FOXBORO -- Many in New England now look at Rob Gronkowski when the words "tight end" come up in football conversations.
But in a conference call on Wednesday at Gillette Stadium, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow had some high praise for his former tight end at the University of Florida -- Aaron Hernandez -- who he played with from 2007-2009.
"Hernandez is a great player, and he makes any quarterback he's with a lot better," said Tebow. "He's just a phenomenal player. He's exciting to play with, and a great guy and a great teammate, and a competitor. He's one of those guys, when you need competitive excellence and you need someone to step up and make a big play, he's always ready and willing.
"I'm just proud of him for what he's done as an NFL player, and what he did with me at Florida. He's a guy that I definitely miss being around, but I'm happy for his success."
ATLANTA - Matt Ryan and Julio Jones teamed up for a dominant playoff performance, and the Atlanta Falcons ignored all those ghosts from the last half-century.
Next up: Super Bowl 51.
Ryan threw for 392 yards and four touchdowns in another MVP-worthy showing, while Jones shook off a toe injury to haul in nine catches for 180 yards and two scores, leading the Falcons to a 44-21 blowout of the storied Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship Sunday.
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You’ll never guess who the seventh-best quarterback* at Gillette Stadium was Sunday.
Via video posted on his Snapchat, 2014 Browns first-rounder Johnny Manziel, currently out of the league, attended the AFC Championship wearing a Tom Brady jersey.
Manziel was released by the Browns last March after two seasons and just eight starts. Had he played this season, he would have been suspended for the first four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
*He might have been eighth-best. Julian Edelman played quarterback in college. People forget that.