Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Tomlin knows Steelers need to pay attention to Rob Gronkowski: 'He’s a dangerous man'

Ryan Hannable
December 12, 2018 - 2:25 pm

FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski hasn't had a typical season.

The All-Pro tight end has missed three games and has just 43 receptions for 637 yards and three touchdowns on the year, but he's coming off his best game of the year against the Dolphins. Gronkowski had eight catches for 107 yards and a touchdown.

Speaking on a conference call with the New England media Wednesday, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin knows his defense will need to make sure it keeps the tight end in check.

"He’s a dangerous man," he said. "He’s Gronk. He’s a vertical matchup. He’s a big-time play-maker. He’s good with the ball in his hands after the catch. He’s a big-time competitor. It is a serious job to work to minimize his impact on the game."

Gronkowski has owned the Steelers in his career.

In six career games against them, he has 39 receptions for 664 yards and eight touchdowns. His 110.6 yards per game are his highest average versus any team he's opposed more than once and the eight touchdowns are his most against any non-AFC East team.

The Steelers will do everything in their power not to allow the trend to continue.

"I think that goes without saying, obviously," he said. "Those that were a part of us understand that. Those that weren’t care less. We better be concerned about preparing ourselves to minimize his impact and do what it is that we need to do to be successful this time around."

Gronkowski and the Patriots have won 12 of the last 15 meetings against the Steelers, but none of those games had Pittsburgh be as desperate as it will be Sunday entering the game losers of three straight.

Related: Bill Belichick knows Patriots will get Steelers' best on Sunday

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