Gronks Are Better Than One.
There is no doubt
that two Gronks are better than one. "It
just varies," Bennett said about Gronk. "There are a lot of
things we do alike but you have to look to the tape. It's a long list of
things. We kind of have different styles as far as playing but I think the
one thing that we both love to do is run with the ball in our hands and I
think for the last couple of years me and him have both been the best at
that. He does a lot of good things. You just look at his numbers, making
big plays, to showing up every week, always being reliable for Tom and I'm
just trying to come in and do the same thing." It looks like
BB finally got his Twin Towers back.
Bennett is one of
those former basketball players turned tight end that turns the Redzone
into alley-oop time. But he also can block. "Well
I think it's a balance of being able to block, pass protect, and being a
complete tight end is probably my biggest strength," Bennett said.
"I think run-after-catch when the ball is in my hands, being able to
make things happen is probably one of my biggest strengths, and being able
to get open in clutch situations." It is such an asset to have
two 270-pound tight ends who can block, catch the ball, and cause a ton of
problem running with the ball in their hands.
He and Gronk
where the two most irresistible forces on the Goal line the past few
years. "I have no idea," Sexy Rexy said when asked how to defend the Pats
new Twin Towers. "I just think it's unusual to have two guys that are like
6-7 and can run, catch, block. So, yeah, it's going to be a major challenge. There's no doubt about that. It's scary when you look at them. Those are two huge guys. How we're going to defend them, I don't know."
I'm smiling already just thinking about.
NFL has never seen two guys like this on the same team before. "I can't really think of one,"
Sexy said. "I remember Kansas City had Gonzalez, and they had that kid
[they drafted] from Eastern Kentucky at one point. But that's hardly these two. Gonzalez is as good as
anybody. But, ah [Jason Dunn was big, but wasn't a player]. I don't know. It's going to be
interesting." And hopefully funny on game day.
When the Pats
line up with one on one side of the line, and the other on the other side
of the line, the read is easy for Brady on the goal line. Look left and
high lob it to Gronk. If he's covered, look right and throw it to Bennett,
and if he's covered throw the ball away. Then you can line them on the
same side, and if both are covered, you give Brady a third read and sneak
White out of the backfield behind them, and if he is covered throw the
You can't make quicker
reads than that on the goal line. "I
don't think it didn't work out in Chicago," Bennett said. "I
thought I played very well in Chicago. I put up great numbers, did some
great things. [I] made my first Pro Bowl there. Statistically, I thought
it was a great job. We had a coaching change, an organization change, the
guys I came in to play for changed, so it was just another change."
Bennett was every bit the force that Gronk is on the Goal line.
He also has a
reputation for being a great blocker like Gronk. He was a basketball
player who knows how to go up and get the ball in tight situations. He
gives the Pats two
Gronks in the Redzone. How exactly are teams going to cover that? He
does have Gronk's unique knack for getting open 20-yards down field, but
he won't need it. When they are in the two-tight sets with Gronk and
Edelman on the field, with maybe Washington outside, he is going to be
ignored by the defense a descent number of times.
Now he had a
reputation for trouble following him a little in Chicago. He got in a
fight with Fuller, which happens all the time on the practice field, and
was blown all out of proportion. "I
don't know too many guys around the league that were here that talked
about it much," Bennett said when asked about the Patriot's Way.
"I think it's something that you've got to be in house to learn. I
think I'll learn much more after I get in and figure out how things
operate once we start to get into the flow of things. Right now it's just
the offseason. The only thing I saw was this beautiful building."
He sounds like he is closer to the Patriots Way than given credit in
He also was a
contract guy, who wants his money. So it wasn't a complete surpsied that
Chicago moved him. "I
already knew that it was a possibility, Bennett said. "I just didn't
know where or what or when or how it was going to happen. But I knew it
was a possibility of coming. So just like any other thing in life you just
be prepared to make sure you flow where the wind goes, just try to be a
dandelion." That is not really a negative either.
So now he has to
learn what it is to be on a wining team and not a losing team. "I
think losing can be contagious and I think winning can be
contagious," Bennett said. "So I'm just looking forward to
getting out and playing and I'm going to try and contribute and continue
that tradition." That sounds good to me.
He already knows
how to support a teammate when the media tries to use the dark side
against him. "I
thought the last two years Shea has grown a lot as a player," Bennett
said about his teammate who just left the Bears for the Pats as well.
"Just watching him grow, becoming a better linebacker, running
around, changing his body. He's an excellent guy. He's a great teammate, a
great human being overall. But he's just a really fun guy to play with and
he brings it every single week. So that's all you can really ask for in a
teammate. A guy that's going to show up and bring it every single week,
and that's what you get with Shea." Sounds good for the Pats
on both accounts.
He has great big
hands, and can make the
spectacular TD catches like Gronk. He is a physical receiver, who
knows how to use his big body in patterns. He is also a hands catcher he
can reach up and grab the ball high and outside effortlessly (:16).
Like Gronk, he is a better athlete than you would think for
such a big guy. He was the closet thing to Gronk in the NFL last year.
Because he wasn't just big and athletic like Gronk in the passing game, he
was also big blocker in line. He averaged more Pancakes (67) than
receptions (49) his last year at A&M. He was the only player in the
2008 Draft to average over 5 knock down blocks (or pancakes), and 4
receptions per game. And he carried that blocking into the NFL as he grew
from 248-pounds at A&M, to 259 at his Proday, to 271 last season.
BB has finally
found the twin to pair with Gronk. Who is what Hernandez could have been,
and Chandler never was. "I
think Gronk has always been an awesome tight end and I look forward to
learning more about him," Bennett said. "There are some things
that he does that I don't do, and I'm pretty sure there are a lot of
things that I do that he doesn't do, so it'll be a good challenge to push
each other and continue to help us grow as individual players as well as a
tandem to do what we can to help the team." When you have two
tight ends like Gronk and Bennett it makes things easy for Brady.
They can go into
that offense that can line up in a power formation and slam the RB into
the line, and without subbing in anyone, rush up to the line on the next
play go Empty against the opponents big defense, and visa versa. That
offense was when Brady was at his best. Both Bennett and Gronk can line up
and power block on run downs (Bennett was listed in the 270s for the Bears
last year, like Gronk), and step out and go deep down the Seam on the next
play, like Gronk.
So now he just as
to get his diva QB to want to throw him the ball. "I'm
excited to meet the entire team, not just Tom," Bennett said.
"But everyone over there. Learn more about the Patriot Way. As far as
fitting in, I'll just go out there and try and do what I do. I'm not
really worried about that. I'm just trying to make plays." We
all want to watch him make plays.
But it is not all
positive. He was bashed by the Chicago news, like New Englander bashing
Chandler Jones who was the best passrusher we've had since McGinest
retired. They say he bad-charactered his way out of town. Going so far as
to claim he faked his rib injury last season because he wants to redo his
contract. I don't know if they say more about him, or more about the media
using the dark side to hurt athletes. The truth is that Pats will be a
worse defense without Jones, but a better offense with Bennett. And
Arizona will be a better defense with Jones, and the Bears will have a
worse offence without Bennett.
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