Patriots know what’s on the line with Gronk

Patriots know what’s on the line with Gronk
September 18, 2013, 11:30 am
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Rob Gronkowski sat out yet another Sunday versus the New Orleans Saints.

(USA Today Sports Images)

It’s easy to imagine Bill Belichick sitting in his office today — feet up on his desk, “You Give Love a Bad Name” blaring from his boom box, reading through his morning press clippings and cackling like a hyena.
 
“Oh, really? Thanks, genius! I hadn’t thought of that!”
 
“Hey, Marcia (his secretary, I assume). See if you can get this guy from Comcast in here for a interview. He’s real sharp. Ha!”
 
That’s probably how it goes most days, but today should be extra special, what with all the stories (like this one) explaining why it’s a bad idea for the Patriots to rush Rob Gronkowski back for this weekend’s game against Tampa.
 
That’s because it’s obviously a bad idea. It’s so obvious that you can only assume the reports that it’s still a coin flip as to whether Gronk will suit up on Sunday have been planted to either A) give the Bucs something else to worry about, B) troll the media, or C) both. Either that or they’re just plain false.
 
Why? Because at this stage in the season, for a player of Gronk’s caliber, with Gronk’s injury history, there’s no such thing as a coin flip. Any level of indecision is in fact a decision. If you’re not sure, then really, you are sure. If you don’t know, then deep down . . . you know.
 
To put it one more way: Unless Gronk’s 100 percent ready, he’s really not ready.
 
And right now, while there are many things we don’t know about the Pats, here’s one thing we’re sure of: They understand the magnitude of what’s going on here.

They have perspective. Certainly if we do, they do. While you can argue that all the offensive struggles the team has encountered these first two weeks might push them to rush Gronkowski back, in reality, it’s more likely that the struggles have made them even more cautious. Now, more than ever, they see how bleak things will look if they don’t have Gronk down the stretch; they understand, if they somehow didn’t already, how little these first few weeks mean compared to having Gronkowski healthy down the stretch for the first time since his rookie year.
 
For that reason, I don’t expect to see Gronkowski on the field this Sunday. It doesn’t seem worth it. But if he is out there, take solace, because it’s for no reason other than that he’s ready.
 
Right, Bill?
 
Right. Glad we had this talk.
 
You can stop laughing now.
 
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