Stephon Gilmore wants to guard Gronk

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The Steelers came up with an unusual approach to dealing with Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski last Thursday night when they opted not to cover him at all on several plays.

It wasn’t a successful strategy as Gronkowski’s three touchdowns loomed large in New England’s 28-21 victory, so it’s unlikely that we’ll see other teams go the same way when facing the Patriots. That appears to be true of the Bills, who are aware enough of the need to cover Gronkowski that cornerback Stephon Gilmore is asking for the assignment.

Gilmore doesn’t know what the Bills will do, but he’s campaigning for the job “because I know the ball’s going to him” whether’s split wide like he often was against the Steelers or lines up close to the line.

“I hope I get ‘Gronk,’ to be honest with you,” Gilmore said, via the Buffalo News. “We’ll see what the coaching staff says. … I can go inside. He’s a bigger guy so it’s not like I’m going inside on a smaller guy. But like I said, it’s whatever the coaches want me to do to help this team win. I want him.”

As the top corner in Buffalo, Gilmore will probably get his chances against Gronkowski at points in Sunday’s game. As one of the most difficult players to cover in the league, Gronkowski will probably get his catches regardless of who is lined up across from hi so a strong pass rush that keeps the ball from going his way at all would be a helpful piece of the puzzle for the Buffalo defense.

127 responses to “Stephon Gilmore wants to guard Gronk

  1. i love his confidence. as a team you want your leaders to step up to the plate and take on the big matchups

    i can’t say i like his chances…

    can anybody put a solid enough hit on gronk and take his head out of the game? like get a little dirty if you have to. hit that man

  2. Yup, looks like Rex is having the same old ‘impact’ in buffalo…ask jets fans how that act ends….

  3. Nice to hear guys wanting to compete against Gronk. Refreshing change from the TJ Wards of the world who realize they can’t cover him and decide to take out a knee instead.

  4. it’s probably a good idea to guard him.
    I look for a tough close game but could be a blowout either way since one game tells us little about any team. I think the bills beat the pats 31-0 one year in the opener. trying to recall how that season ended. wasn’t that the game where bills used Molloy’s stolen playbook?

  5. Rex brings swagger to a team but look what happen with the J-E-T-S jets jets jets.
    These guys will create so many penalties it will be unavailable. They will push,shove and inntmadat to the point it will make you sick. Same old same old with Rex.

  6. It wasn’t “strategy” on the part of the steelers it was poor play and poor coaching. Tomlin peed down his leg during the game and kept doing it during the post game press conference

  7. Whether you are a Bills fan or a Patriots fan, they sure are building up the hype to this game. I can’t wait to see my Bills tested against the best of the best, Sunday is gonna be some incredible football regardless of who your favourite team is.

  8. It wouldn’t be a surprise that BB tanks this early season game so Rex’s Bills would get ahead of themselves and crap out at the end of the season. This is an all or nothing year for Buffalo as they are salary cap hell for following 2 years as are the Jets and Dolphins. If they don’t wrestle the AFC East title away this year, Pats own it for another 5 years easy.

  9. To all the Pats fans that think all the Bills have been saying how much better we are than them because we “hate them” haven’t see the context of those interviews where each time the player or coach showed respect to the Patriots for stating the obvious that they are the world champions, the best in the league and they’ve been kicking our ass for years. Sure we hate you but no
    one in WNY discredits what caliber team BB fields on Sunday.

  10. Marcell is back, if we held Luck to 2tds and 2ints (should have been 3 int’s easily) and no points until late in the 3rd quarter after the game was pretty much sealed WITHOUT our best d-lineman then i cannot wait to see how we do this sunday. And our secondary is fired up, i dont think Gilmore will shut out Gronk, but he is pumped and should do enough to keep him from going off like last weekend. Should be a great game!

  11. Gilmore’s 6’1″ and the only other Bills DB as tall as him is backup Mario Butler. Gronkowski is 6’6″ 265 and with guys like him and Jimmy Graham, you’d think their would be sizable coverage specialists for such big targets. Scanning the Bills roster, maybe OLB Manny Lawson can be employed within his limitations, at least underneath, when he’s 6’5″ 240 and pretty mobile.

    Limit Gronkowski and the Bills win when limiting him also means getting to Brady.

  12. Not a bad idea, actually. NE made Jimmy Graham disappear a couple of years ago by putting Aqib Talib on him. And the Pats don’t really have anything in the way of a deep threat at WR. But Gronk’s going to get his catches no matter what. The best Gilmour can hope for is to limit his YAC. That and the D line sacking Brady eight times. Otherwise, it’ll be a long afternoon for the Bills.

  13. Publicly -“I want to cover Gronk!”
    Privately -“I want to cover Gronk, as long as I have safety and inside help.”

  14. I fully expect Manny Lawson to be the 2nd guy assigned to him yet I’m certain Gronk will still get his.

    The difference-maker, IMO isn’t the TE but the guy throwing him the ball and I think he’s in for a VERY LONG DAY vs Mario Williams/Marcell Dareus/Kyle Williams/Jerry Hughes.

    Down goes Brady!

  15. “Gronkowski will probably get his catches regardless of who is lined up across from hi so a strong pass rush ”

    Hi right back to your Josh, and good morning.

  16. .
    Good luck with that Stephen…

    I’m totally sick of the flood of fantasy gambling commericals…
    Why is gambling on fantasy games even legal.

  17. This game reminds of some of Ryan’s games with the Jets where he targets a home against the Patriots as a Super Bowl. The Bills very likely could win this game and then flatten out next week. There’s a good chance that the Patriots offensive line with three rookies will be overwhelmed this week. This is a tough one.

  18. He should guard Gronk. Steph and a Safety all day doubling Gronk, put the Rook on Edelman, who is a similar receiver to the Colts’ TY and Moncrief. The best front 7 can shut down the run, and we head to Miami with a 2-0 record, with our top 2 toughest season opponents behind us.

    Bingo Bango.

  19. Patriots are going down Sunday just like they did last December when Brady and his 1st team played the whole first half 3-17. difference here is Brady and Co will play the entire game and still go down……your dynasty is over Pats fans….

  20. doe22us says: Sep 16, 2015 7:47 AM

    …..Right, a smallish corner against a man beast sure.

    _________

    Gilmore’s 6-1, built big for his height, and is one of the best tacklers at his position. I can count the amount of broken tackles by the entire Colts team on one hand, WITH A CLOSED FIST. Gronk will get his catches, but it will be a good matchup for sure. If you don’t think this is the #1 defense in the league, you need to watch some tape.

  21. Good for the young man, but he better have a plan b…if he is successful the Pats will move Gronk into the back field and then he goes wherever your not…. Tough to man up on a TE, if your not strong enough they will run it down his throat, good luck getting off his block…..talk is cheap Buffalo lets see what you got

  22. bullcharger says:
    Sep 16, 2015 8:17 AM
    Is this the Super Bowl Rex? I thought it was game 2.
    ———————–

    I’m pretty sure he knows it’s game 2. Haven’t heard him call it the Super Bowl. Also, don’t think the Patriots aren’t looking at this game as huge. This could very well make a big impact on who wins the division, they know it.

  23. If Graham is healthy he will cover Gronk with a LB underneath to bump him. Gilmore most likely will end up on Edelman. This is gonna be a great game.

  24. NE offensive line going to have their hands full. Josh McDaniels is going to have to get creative to slow down that pass rush or we’re toast up there in Buffalo.

    That said -Stephon Gilmore? LMAO. Ummkay bruh.

  25. Let the Bills have their SB against the Pats….they’ll filter out for the next two games and the Pats will only get better.

  26. Patriots D is certainly missing Wilfork. Their run D was non existent against Pitt. I expect Shady and Karlos to have big days. If they stack the box which everyone expects theyll do, itll be up to TT to expose the Revis-less secondary. Bills will score, make no mistake about it. Question is will Buffalos D make Brady and Co. miserable? If the officiating is on the level, Bills win. No way can their O line stop that front 4 with their personel, unless they hold as usual.

  27. I respect his comments.

    He didn’t say I want to cover him because I can shut him down.

    Heck, I would want to cover him too.

  28. Gronk is in your head already… One guy can’t cover Gronk. He’s super excited to go to Buffalo..
    I wonder if Chandler gets covered 2?

  29. I respect someone who wants the biggest challenge. Whether or not that works out remains to be seen.

    Should be a great game on Sunday. Bills are legit but we’ll see.

  30. thechickenexpress says:
    Sep 16, 2015 7:37 AM
    Not a bad idea, actually. NE made Jimmy Graham disappear a couple of years ago by putting Aqib Talib on him.
    ——————————————————————-
    With all due respect, please do not ever compare Jimmy Graham with Rob Gronkowski ever again. Graham is ‘today’s’ tight end – soft, more of a catcher and not a blocker.

  31. Tyrod going to get really confused on Sunday…
    BB knows a little something about Defense as well. Multiple fronts and lots of pressure!

  32. Lucky for Pats opponents. Brady only has 2 reliable receivers Gronk and Edelman. Still good luck stopping Bronk and Bradelman combo. Hawks were the # 1 defense and the Pats won the SB. Bills this year can get comfortable bragging. They’re stacked with good players. Guys who will cover Gronk, if they’re smart, should not yip at Gronk.

    See how Lewis reacted to Rex’s rant on him? Same old Patriots retort. Respect and admiration for the opposing team. Hopefully, Lewis would introduce himself to Rex the Patriot Way.

  33. “Their run D was non existent against Pitt. ”

    Lolz they did the same thing to Pitt they did to Manning a couple years ago in the playoffs. Gave them a weaker run defense to entice the Steelers into throwing less.

    They will have an entirely different strategy vs the Bills. Its called game planning. You might see a lot more of the 4 TE set for instance.

  34. ” If the officiating is on the level, Bills win”

    SMH already whining about the refs and the game hasn’t even been played yet.

    What are the Bills, the new Ravens ? Bills fans used to have stones, now they’ve become just another waaaaa waaaaaa fanbase.

  35. “Patriots are going down Sunday just like they did last December when Brady and his 1st team played the whole first hal”

    Us, no the first team did not play the first half. Half the starters did not play at all, and the other half were all pulled by halftime.

    Its hilarious that Bills fans keep hanging their hat on this “win” as if it was something significant.

  36. I’m pretty sure he knows it’s game 2. Haven’t heard him call it the Super Bowl. Also, don’t think the Patriots aren’t looking at this game as huge. This could very well make a big impact on who wins the division, they know it.

    Said Dolphins fans last season when they beat NE week 1.

    A week 2 game will have ZERO outcome on the season or division.

    Patriots after 4 games last year 2-2
    Seahawks after 6 games last year 3-3

    Stop overreacting or overrating a week 2 game.

  37. i think teams are better off trying to guard gronk with corners or safeties who can play well in space

    putting a linebacker out wide against gronk just isn’t fair, he is to quick to be covered in space by almost every linebacker

  38. Omg the Bills are already falling for Rexters charms. The league should proclaim the rest of the season as a walkover for buffalo and march them straight into AFC title game. Reality is they will burn so much energy up beating the Patriots and forget about the other games. I love it

  39. Too much build up. I’m sensing a beat down by the Pats. Which is too bad but not the end of the world. To have a shot a decent year, the Bills needed to win at least one of their first three. They did that. A win over NE or in Miami is gravy. A lot of focus on the Big Pierogi, I’m just as worried that Belicheat will come up with ways to make T-mobile look like JP Losman.

  40. Gronk say;
    Throw Gronk ball
    Gronk catch ball
    Gronk destroy tackler
    Gronk score TD
    Gronk destroy ball

    on the inside……unlike the legion of loudmouths Gronk and the Patriots dominate on the field, not the sound bites.

  41. Pats fans sound afraid. Lot of rationalizing going on…it’s not the Super Bowl, only week 2, etc., etc.

    You can smell the stink of fear.

    Payback is a bi*tch. Bills D will be collecting on Sunday.

  42. “letsgobuffalo4 says:
    Sep 16, 2015 7:28 AM
    Marcell is back, if we held Luck to 2tds and 2ints (should have been 3 int’s easily) and no points until late in the 3rd quarter after the game was pretty much sealed WITHOUT our best d-lineman then i cannot wait to see how we do this sunday. And our secondary is fired up, i dont think Gilmore will shut out Gronk, but he is pumped and should do enough to keep him from going off like last weekend. Should be a great game!”

    ****

    It’s going to be a good game. But please do not compare Luck to Brady or Pagano to Belichick. BB are the GOATs. The others are wannabes.

  43. Also, Scott Chandler isn’t exactly a good TE. Patriots fans seem to forget that Bills fans watched him for 16 games over the past few years and the team let him walk without so much as a whisper.

  44. And can we all just agree that this will be a close, chess-like game between two great coaches, potentially the league’s best defense and a all-time-great QB/TE combo?

    It’s won by a FG, coin-flip on the direction. Anyone who expects anything otherwise is homer-ing.

  45. I think this is going to be a great game and Ryan always plays the Pats tough….but for those of you who keep referring to what the Bills did against the Colts…the Pats are not the Colts. The Colts are soft, punch them and they crumble. We, in NE, are actually grateful to the Bills for giving the Colts such a fine opening game……..that said “on to Buffalo!”

  46. bills99 says:
    Sep 16, 2015 10:35 AM
    Pats fans sound afraid. Lot of rationalizing going on…it’s not the Super Bowl, only week 2, etc., etc.

    You can smell the stink of fear.

    Payback is a bi*tch. Bills D will be collecting on Sunday.

    ———————-
    You think we sound afraid? No, we respect the Bills, that’s a heckuva defense you’ve got; and, the Pats never under-estimate anyone….they also never make excuses. If we lose, it’ll be because you guys played us tough. If we win, it’ll be because we were prepared and we executed our game plan….but fear you….no, dear, we don’t.

  47. The Bills are looking for respect and that is understandable. That said, this game means far more to the Bills than it does the Patriots. Losing in their stadium will be a major setback to Rex and the Bills. To the Patriots, it will be merely one game along the way to another SB.

    Here is to a good game where nobody gets injured.

  48. fireeyes111 says:
    Sep 16, 2015 10:37 AM
    Also, Scott Chandler isn’t exactly a good TE. Patriots fans seem to forget that Bills fans watched him for 16 games over the past few years and the team let him walk without so much as a whisper
    ——————–
    Possibly; but, the challenge is covering both him and Gronk adequately. If you double Gronk, Chandler’s open…it happened last week on one of the few times the Steeler’s remembered to cover Gronk.

  49. Gronk is actually easy to guard… Here are the steps to stop Gronk… 1. You need a hybrid type safety/LB someone who is physical enough to jam at the line and has the footwork to not get caught flat footed with him if you pay attention most linebackers lose due to footwork and most safeties lost him due to him being more physical… 2. Expect brady to throw to Gronk and trust your instinct, they are going to throw exactly what you are think but the fact that it is actually happen makes people second guess it… 3. Take one of his arms away during his catch process and 9 times out of 10 you got him… Indeed…

  50. harrisonhits2 says:
    Sep 16, 2015 9:28 AM
    ” If the officiating is on the level, Bills win”

    SMH already whining about the refs and the game hasn’t even been played yet.

    What are the Bills, the new Ravens ? Bills fans used to have stones, now they’ve become just another waaaaa waaaaaa fanbase.
    ———————————————-
    Just calling it like “everyone” other than a Pats fan sees it. Born and raised in Connecticut and I have plenty of friends and acquaintances that are NE fans. At least they can admit when they benefit from timely laundry hitting the field. No need to be sour on it, to the victors go the spoils, right? If you think for one second that Brady isnt held in a different regard by the officials then you havent been watching football with an unbiased perspective.

  51. Don’t forget about 6’8 Scott Chandler lined up next to him. GL with those two.

    Gronk comes off the line and smashes Gilmore, leaving Chandler 1×1 with a midget DB or rock footed LB.

    Bills fans are about to be really heartbroken. In other words, Football is back!

  52. Just think how boring the start of this season would have been if the NFL witch-hunt against Tom Brady had been successful.

    Hate him all you want, but these games would likely have been meaningless without him.

  53. Rex comments to a reporter (that are of course not widely-publicized) in regards to just one player covering Gronk: “It would have to be King Kong. ‘Go ahead, you cover Gronk.'”

    Like others have said on here. Hate the Patriots? Absolutely! Brady. Belichick. All of ’em. Respect the heck out of them? Absolutely! Not going to go into all of the accusations, etc. etc., but I can only admire what that organization has achieved over the past 10+ years.

    Hate them? You bet!

  54. mrmcdougle says:
    Sep 16, 2015 8:51 AM

    bullcharger says:
    Sep 16, 2015 8:17 AM
    Is this the Super Bowl Rex? I thought it was game 2.
    ———————–

    I’m pretty sure he knows it’s game 2. Haven’t heard him call it the Super Bowl. Also, don’t think the Patriots aren’t looking at this game as huge. This could very well make a big impact on who wins the division, they know it.

    —————–

    No it can’t. It’s a division road game for the Patriots. They lose 1 or 2 every year. Very rarely have the Patriots gone 6-0 in the division. Howver, no division team has ever swept them in the division in the Brady era. For the Bills to win the division this game is irrelevant. They should be thinking split with the division’s best team and sweep the rest of the games. That’s how you win a division. Losing a game to Miami or NY or both will be how they lose it.

  55. Honestly, Gilmore is the one I’d ask for the job. He’s our best corner by far, and also our biggest. With the 4 TE formation the Pats have sent out, why not?

    I have faith in Darby covering Edelman and Robey on Amendola, as they seem to match those strengths. Bills fans aren’t taking the Pats lightly, but this isn’t going to be a Cover 2 she’ll like the Steelers failed abysmally at.

  56. I think the bills beat the pats 31-0 one year in the opener. trying to recall how that season ended
    ————————————————————–

    2003. Bills beat Pats 31-0 opening day. Everyone had the Bills back in SB mode with the Pats done (“They hate their coach”–ESPN) Last game of season: Patriots 31 Bills 0 (no lie). Pats 14-2 Bills 6-10. Moral of story–no one knows squat after opening weekend.

  57. RE LEE says:
    Sep 16, 2015 9:20 AM
    Lucky for Pats opponents. Brady only has 2 reliable receivers Gronk and Edelman.

    ——-

    You might want to ask the Steelers about the reliability of Dion Lewis out of the backfield,

  58. Gronk comes as advertise but he can be stop I am pretty sure if lets say Revis, Sherman, or Grimes would possibly hold Gronk down to 1 or 2 catches… So Stephen you have a shot…Indeed…

  59. sb36champsfan says:
    Sep 16, 2015 11:50 AM

    This is a Rex Ryan coached team. Gilmore has already been told to dive straight at Gronk’s knees while attempting to twist his ankle early and often.

    ———-

    Rex’s teams have never been dirty that I have seen.

    Just seems to dial up the right blitzes to thwart the Patriots blocking schemes. Rex is a great in game defensive coach. Not so great on offensive situational football, but on defense he is one of the best.

  60. coldwater32301 says:
    Sep 16, 2015 12:07 PM

    Gronk comes as advertise but he can be stop I am pretty sure if lets say Revis, Sherman, or Grimes would possibly hold Gronk down to 1 or 2 catches… So Stephen you have a shot…Indeed…

    ————

    The problem is if a defense goes man on Gronk and has an elite defender on him then he can just stay in to block and that defender is stuck at the line of scrimmage. It’s hard to put the best corner on a TE.

  61. All wonderful strategies. However the problem becomes one of execution.
    So while Rex Ryan wins in his own head, Belichick wins on the field, where it counts.

  62. bullcharger says:
    Sep 16, 2015 12:24 PM

    The problem is if a defense goes man on Gronk and has an elite defender on him then he can just stay in to block and that defender is stuck at the line of scrimmage. It’s hard to put the best corner on a TE.
    _____________________

    Normally yeah, except the situation might make it possible.

    Darby has shown that he can be decent against TY Hilton, so I’d feel ok with him on Edelman, and Robey on Amendola. As a Bills fan, I love Chandler, but he can absolutely be covered by a Safety like Aaron Williams. He has great size and decent route running, but no speed. If Gilmore is tying up Gronk on blocking on 1 or 2 TE sets, that is likely going to mean Mario Williams and/or Jerry Hughes, 2 of the best edge rushers in the league, get 1 on 1 matchups. And that’s not counting 1 Pro Bowl DT’s taking on a 4th round RG and a rookie UDFA C.

  63. coldwater32301 says:
    Sep 16, 2015 12:07 PM

    Gronk comes as advertise but he can be stop I am pretty sure if lets say Revis, Sherman, or Grimes would possibly hold Gronk down to 1 or 2 catches… So Stephen you have a shot…Indeed…

    ———————–

    So why didn’t Sherman hold Gronk to 2 catches in the SB? Oh yeah, Sherman is not man enough to defend Gronk

  64. Buffalo fans keep saying the D-line they have is going to pound Brady. Its the same line they had last year, right? In the game in Buffalo last year, game 6, Brady threw for 360 yards and 4 tds and was only sacked twice. 37 attempts.

    This year though, is the defense suddenly leaps and bounds better? Keep in mind, as many Bills fans always want to point out, Brady is a short pass thrower, meaning the pass rush gets nullified and WR’s run quick outs and slants. If the Bills aren’t running press coverage constantly, he will complete those passes and have success.

    That’s why the Pats offense is successful more often than not. They don’t usually let the defense dictate the game, they do it.

  65. Gilmore:
    Height: 73 inches
    Shoulder height: 60 inches (approx)
    Arm length: 31 inches
    Vertical leap (pre-draft): 36 inches
    Total attainable height: (60 + 31 + 36) = 127 inches

    Gronkowski:
    Height: 79 inches
    Shoulder height: 64 inches (approx)
    Arm length: 34 inches
    Vertical leap (pre-draft): 35 inches
    Total attainable height: (64 + 34 + 35) = 133 inches

    Conclusion:
    Given relative strength and body weight, Gronkowski can out-rebound Gilmore 9 times out of 10 and will dominate on short passes is Gilmore is 1-on-1.

    The Bills would be crazy to put Gilmore on Gronk.

  66. joker65 says:
    Sep 16, 2015 1:14 PM
    Buffalo fans keep saying the D-line they have is going to pound Brady. Its the same line they had last year, right? In the game in Buffalo last year, game 6, Brady threw for 360 yards and 4 tds and was only sacked twice. 37 attempts.

    This year though, is the defense suddenly leaps and bounds better? Keep in mind, as many Bills fans always want to point out, Brady is a short pass thrower, meaning the pass rush gets nullified and WR’s run quick outs and slants. If the Bills aren’t running press coverage constantly, he will complete those passes and have success.

    That’s why the Pats offense is successful more often than not. They don’t usually let the defense dictate the game, they do it.
    ——–

    Couple of things. Last year the Bills had 3 DBS injured or recovering from injuries. Now they CAN play press man on your WRs.

    In regards to the D-line, the Bills may not be better but the Pats lost Mankins and Connolly, so you’re putting rookies against a pair of Pro Bowlers.

    Third, Rex is here now. Schwartz was more passive but Rex knows how to dial up pressure.

    So it’s completely different this year.

  67. Biggest fear of the weekend is that when Buffalo is down
    3 TDs and the swagger is depleted, they get dirty
    and try to take out someone..not above Rex

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