Buckley: Pats fine if Gronk is 70-80 percent

Buckley: Pats fine if Gronk is 70-80 percent
July 26, 2014, 8:30 am
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“If [Gronk] is 70-80 percent close to [normal] I think the Patriots will be just fine.” - Steve Buckley

Lou Merloni and Steve Buckley were on Arbella Early Edition to discuss Rob Gronkowski's injury history and if he needs to change his style in order to stay healthy.

Back, forearm, and now an ACL... it's an unnerving medical history. Can Gronk bounce back and be what he was for the Patriots earlier in his career? 

“I don’t know about ‘old Gronk’ to the degree that he is the super-charged, best tight end you’ve ever seen in the history of football," says Buckley, “but if he is 70-80 percent close to that I think the Patriots will be just fine.” 

Rajon Rondo and Wes Welker both returned from ACL injuries and in their respective first years back from injury weren't able to perform at quite the same level as before the injury.

But both Rondo and Welker were speed guys who relied on quick cuts and agility. Gronk just needs to run straight ahead and blow through people, leaving some optimism that his return will surpass those of both Rondo and Welker. 

Given the injuries, should Gronk consider changing his style of play? Should he adopt a 'safer' style? 

Buckley thinks back to Pete Rose, who once said that he went hard on every play for fear of getting hurt if he backed off at all.

"In the spirit of that, I expect Gronkowski to play to the highest level he can and not to cut corners," says Buckley.