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Jay Gruden thinks Jermaine Gresham can be like Gronkowski

Jermaine+Gresham+New+York+Jets+v+Cincinnati+nlLQ02Ct7fdl Getty Images

The Bengals took tight end Jermaine Gresham with the 21st overall pick in 2010, 21 picks before the Patriots picked another tight end in the second round.

That was Rob Gronkowski, of course, and he has become one of the standard bearers at the position. That means guys like Gresham and the men who coach them face questions about whether or not they can be as productive as Gronkowski was in 2011. Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden got just such a question and he indicated he believes Gresham is capable of that kind of impact.

“Athletically and talent-wise, yes,” Gruden said, via Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “He’s comparable.”

Gruden was careful to point out that Gronkowski is ahead of Gresham when it comes to reading defenses and that Gresham’s got blocking responsibilities in addition to his work as a receiver, but he does think Gresham can have a similar impact on offense. Without a clear-cut No. 2 receiver across from A.J. Green, Gresham could wind up playing that role in the Cincinnati offense this year. That might not mean Gronkowski-type numbers, but it would help the Bengals win.

Before any of that can happen, Gresham needs to get healthy. He’s been out with a sprained knee since the second preseason game and he won’t be putting up any of the numbers we’ve been talking about with a bum wheel in the regular season.

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14 Responses to “Jay Gruden thinks Jermaine Gresham can be like Gronkowski”
  1. lionsfan415 says: Aug 30, 2012 9:03 AM

    There’s one issue here to be like Gronk and Graham not only do you have to have freakish athleticism, you need to have Brady and Brees tossing the rock, no offense to Andy Dalton who will probabally be more similar to a Matt hassleback

  2. carterd12 says: Aug 30, 2012 9:05 AM

    Ironically, the same reason Gresham was drafted ahead of Gronk is the same reason he’s unlikely to ever put up the same numbers. In the Patriots spread it out, quick-throw offense, Gronkowski is a glorified receiver who is running routes on nearly ever snap. Gresham is often held in to block reducing his receiving opportunities but raising his overall value to the Bengals style of offense.

  3. jm91rs says: Aug 30, 2012 9:11 AM

    It’s not even all on Dalton, I’m sure that as a rookie he did not have 100% freedom in Gruden’s system. They went several games last year where they were in the 4th quarter before a pass was even thrown to Gresham. If Gruden wants Gresham to be a monster like Gronk, he needs to run more plays his way.

    Gresham is certainly better than the Bengals have had at TE in awhile, but there’s never been a TE like Gronkowski so there’s not much chance for him to get to that level. No chance if Gruden doesn’t gear the offense that way a little like the Pats and Saints do.

  4. Chief NavyTim says: Aug 30, 2012 9:17 AM

    Bibi Jones would care to differ…

  5. dukemarc says: Aug 30, 2012 9:24 AM

    Let’s hope not – we only need one NFL TE out there dancing, shirtless, with other men.

  6. Henry says: Aug 30, 2012 9:45 AM

    Fwiw, Gronk has blocking responsibilities too, especially in the run game.

  7. patriots87 says: Aug 30, 2012 9:51 AM

    seriously people. Gronkowski is just as skilled/effective in blocking as he is receiving. We just choose to send him on receiving routes more often because…. well, why wouldn’t you have him running routes?

  8. jpb12 says: Aug 30, 2012 10:05 AM

    Wow –
    Gronkowski is regularly trucking guys like Bart Scott in the run game. Film doesn’t lie.
    Guy’s a beast.

    Reason he dropped to second round was because he didn’t play his senior year – had back surgery.

    This information is all freely available on this new thing called the internet.

  9. seeschool says: Aug 30, 2012 10:22 AM

    “Wow –
    Gronkowski is regularly trucking guys like Bart Scott in the run game. Film doesn’t lie.
    Guy’s a beast.

    Reason he dropped to second round was because he didn’t play his senior year – had back surgery.

    This information is all freely available on this new thing called the internet.”

    Exactly. He is an elite run blocker, and a complete tight end. He’s had a few issues in pass protection, but those are correctable.

    He had what some would characterize as severe back problems (there were even rumours of spinal stenosis), and was a medical red flag. He still went in the 2nd round. If he was healthy, he was a top 15 talent, without a doubt. Better prospect then Gresham, who doesn’t block as well and really struggled with his hands at times at Oklahoma.

  10. grogansheroes says: Aug 30, 2012 10:38 AM

    carterd12 says:
    Aug 30, 2012 9:05 AM
    Ironically, the same reason Gresham was drafted ahead of Gronk is the same reason he’s unlikely to ever put up the same numbers. In the Patriots spread it out, quick-throw offense, Gronkowski is a glorified receiver who is running routes on nearly ever snap. Gresham is often held in to block reducing his receiving opportunities but raising his overall value to the Bengals style of offense.
    ———————————————————
    Uhm, no. Gronk may also be the best blocking TE in football. NE has a great O line and pass the ball a lot, so they don’t use him as a blocker. All you need to do is watch the AFCC game last year. Before he got his ankle ripped up, he pancakes DPOY Suggs. After his injury, he pancakes Ngata. Not many O linemen even block that guy.

  11. tbred2328 says: Aug 30, 2012 1:10 PM

    Uhm, no. Gronk may also be the best blocking TE in football. NE has a great O line and pass the ball a lot, so they don’t use him as a blocker. All you need to do is watch the AFCC game last year. Before he got his ankle ripped up, he pancakes DPOY Suggs. After his injury, he pancakes Ngata. Not many O linemen even block that guy.

    —————————————-
    So you call a guy coming off the line of scrimmage and blind-siding somebody a pancake block? I remember both of those plays and Gronk merely comes off the line and blind-sides both of them. That’s not in-line blocking like Gresham does all the time. Gresham literally manhandles guys in front of him when they know he’s blocking them. Gronk is the best TE in the league. They’re used differently. Don’t deny that.

  12. patriots87 says: Aug 30, 2012 1:53 PM

    They’re used differently. Don’t deny that.
    ————————

    of course they’re used differently. like shonn greene is used different than darren sproles.

  13. johnnyb1976 says: Aug 30, 2012 3:53 PM

    Isn’t the patriot fans a lot of the same fans that said the red sox were going to be a force? Can’t argue with a new englander.

  14. voyager6 says: Aug 30, 2012 6:55 PM

    Gresham will never fully develop as long as the Bengals retain their TE coach. He (Hayes) clearly has failed to produce good TEs given above average talent.

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