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Tom Brady on K&C: Rob Gronkowski's greatness needs to be matched for productive offense

Ryan Hannable
September 10, 2018 - 8:12 am

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady joined Kirk & Callahan with Mike Mutnansky and Greg Dickerson filling in Monday morning to discuss the 27-20 win over the Texans in Week 1, and also to look ahead a bit to Week 2, which will be a rematch of last year's AFC championship game against the Jaguars.

Without Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski paced the offense as he finished the game with seven catches for 123 yards and a touchdown despite being double-covered most of the game.

One of the highlights was a great 28-yard reception at the end of the first half over the middle, which may have been reviewed, but the Patriots were able to snap the ball before the referees could get the word from New York to take another look.

“He’s just a spectacular player so you have to give those guys opportunities," Brady said of his star tight end. "They did a good job on him, just trying to keep him out of the game. But, it is tough because he’s so talented. He’s the best tight end in the league — probably the best to ever play the game. When you have that guy on your team you have to give him looks. We did and he came up big for us. Made the catches. He’s so well-rounded. He blocks so well in the run game. He runs every route, every part of the field — short, intermediate, deep, inside, outside, takes hits, runs after the catch, third-down, first-down, red area.

"He’s a big part of what we do and we all have to match his greatness, all of us, in order to be a great offense. Teams focus on him, which gives other guys opportunities and we’re going to have to take advantage of those opportunities when we get them.”

The Patriots offense certainly could have been better as it recorded just two field goals in the second half and went 4-for-14 overall on third down. This was likely part of the reason Brady wasn't too thrilled immediately after the game, but he did note how good the Texans defense is.

“We played a defense that was pretty solid," Brady said. "They have a great front, a great group of linebackers that all rotate and they have a very veteran secondary. It was definitely not an easy game. They do a great job of giving you a bunch of different looks and taking away some things that are usually there, but we just tried to adjust. We made some plays running the ball. The backs played well. It was challenging, it was frustrating, it was exciting. Overall, again, to get the win is what we all wanted [coming out of the game].”

The Patriots will now turn their attention to the Jaguars, who defeated the Giants, 20-15, on the road in Week 1. Brady knows it will be another tough game, and will look back to the AFC title game for some help on what works best.

“Definitely. I think there is a lot we need to take from it," he said. "We have to understand, I think they have a very rare set of players, skill-set of players — their ability to rush the quarterback, their speed at linebacker, and their experience and skill in the secondary is pretty unmatched in the NFL. There’s no margin of error. We’re going to have to play a complimentary game to win. They played really well in the playoff game. We made just enough plays to win, and I am sure it is going to come down to the end again.”

New England came back from 10 points down in the fourth quarter last January, but the week might most be remembered for the nasty cut Brady suffered on his hand during practice, which had his availability for the game up in the air all week.

“I mean, absolutely for a non-Super Bowl game, I’d say that was pretty special," Brady said. "There were some pretty scary moments there over the course of that week. But, I am glad we got the win and hopefully we aren’t dealing with anything like that this week."

Related: Hannable: Patriots questions got answered in Week 1