Rodney Harrison suggests putting two guys on Gronk at the line

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The Steelers tried to cover Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski by, at times, not covering him at all. (It wasn’t intentional. We think.) Former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison has a different suggestion for the Bills.

On Wednesday’s edition of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, Rodney said the Bills should do what the Pats used to do against future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez. Rodney said that the Pats would put both him and linebacker Roman Phifer at the line of scrimmage, with the assignment of disrupting Gonzalez before he could get into his pass route.

Other possibilities include putting one linebacker on Gronk at the line, with a corner or a safety covering Gronkowski after he fights through the jam.

Regardless, the Bills will need a plan for covering Gronkowski — and also for addressing the weaknesses that will be created elsewhere if extra resources are devoted to stopping Gronk.

23 responses to “Rodney Harrison suggests putting two guys on Gronk at the line

  1. All you need is a decent safety. When the seahawks put Kam on him, this pig skinned neanderthal disappeared. His success is mostly on non-athletic LBs and mediocre safetys.

  2. Rodney is right. Putting 2 men on the LOS where Gronk lines up IS the only way to shut him down. Then you have to hope that Brady will continue to throw to him instead of the guys getting open.

    BTW- by using motion and shifts, the Pats will be able to avoid a lot of these issues.

    IMHO, if Rex is as good as he thinks, what he should do is continually use difference types of coverage and keep the Pats guessing what they are going to get.

  3. You can do that with some teams, but not with the Pats. Double cover Gronk and Brady will dink, dunk and shred with Edelman, Chandler and a handful of guys no one really knows. He did it for many years without a top flite receiver, he can certainly do it with this group after Gronk. You have to find THE man who can keep Gronk from busting out, to keep the rest of the receiving corp honest. Someone like a Chancellor. As a Pats fan, I love that it seems Rex is back and with a good team and that the Dolphins and Jets are headed up, dominating a poor division gets boring. I’ll take good competition and excitement any day.

  4. One of the funniest things I have ever heard at a press was Rex saying you would have to have King Kong to single cover Gronk. We got Gronk we’re putting Kong on him.

  5. Am I the only one who is in disbelief over the amount of attention covering Gronk is receiving?

    Gronk has been around since 2010, and Rex has been in his division that whole time too. And Rex’s team’s have always played them tight. So it’s not like Rex doesn’t have some sort of plan to neutralize the Pats weapons.

    Gronk is great, best at his position. But why are we acting like this is a matchup which never happened before?

  6. Great Analysis Rodney, I think we can all figure that out. If the steelers did that in week one like they said they would, they’d probably be sitting at 1-0 right now.

  7. i think defenses need to stop trying to cover him in space with linebackers, they just don’t have the coverage skills to match up with him on the outside

  8. I’d suggest dropping a dump truck on him. If you try to use a LB, he’s going to be out run. If you try to use a safety, he’s going to be out maneuvered with routes. If you try to use a corner, he’s going to be beat by size. If you double team, then you risk the ball going to a wide receiver or back the whole game.

    Instead of trying to stop him from making any plays, you’re better off trying to limit the plays he does make. Solid tackling, hustle to the ball, and getting the pass rush going to knock Brady around a bit are how you slow that offense down. Scheming for one player just lets them slice and dice you with another.

  9. Great test this weekend. The four tight end set is tough to cover. Williams is the smallest at 6’2″, 245…Hooman is 6′-4″ and weights 265 and Chandler and Gronk are both beasts. All are capable of catching passes as is Edelman in the slot and Deion can catch out of the backfield. Tough tough match ups…

  10. The Steelers have been outcoached by the Patriots for years. They always looked confused and bewildered against Brady and crew. Pittsburgh played them well 1 or 2 times in the past 10 years. It is embarrassing to see your beloved team be humiliated time and time again. Pittsburgh’s rivals (Baltimore) always get after it against the Pats. Brady’s head is on a swivel against them while he relaxes with Pittsburgh. Brady loves playing against that bewildered Steeler D.

  11. “Rodney Harrison suggests putting two guys on Gronk at the line” Brilliant! As for me I suggest Chamberlain should have shot Hitler.

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