Patrick Chung gives Rob Gronkowski credit for his own success: 'He has made me the player I am'

Ryan Hannable
January 25, 2019 - 8:37 am

FOXBORO -- Patriots safety Patrick Chung has turned into one of the better safeties in the entire league.

The 31-year-old is very versatile where he can play the normal safety spot, but also can line up in the box and make a bunch of tackles. He's known for shutting down opponents' tight ends and when speaking Thursday, Chung credited Rob Gronkowski for his success in that regard.

"You guys see what he’s meant to the game," Chung said. "I don’t have to tell you that. But, to me, he has made me the player I am. I get to go against him every day for the last eight, nine years. So, he’s definitely made me better, period. So, I actually need to thank him. Personally, that’s how I feel about him. And we’ve been grinding it out. There’s days we don’t want to grind it out and we’re going to grind it out. So, much love to him. Thank you."

He added: "He’s the man. I mean, we all have to play good. You can’t just go out there and be the man – we all have to play good. But, Gronk is Gronk. Hopefully he can do that, and we’ll be good."

In his first year as a team captain, Bill Belichick had a lot of praise for Chung when speaking earlier in the day.

"This year, he was selected as a captain and very deserving," he said. "He’s done a great job. But, he’s given us great leadership year-in and year-out for a number of years. So, his experience, his confidence, certainly his versatility – he works with everybody, so he works with the corners, the safeties, the linebackers. He even gets involved with the defensive linemen because of his proximity to the line of scrimmage on a lot of plays. He’s involved in the kicking game. Really, he’s played in every phase of the kicking game for us – punt, punt return, kickoff, kickoff return. He’s a very dependable player. So, works hard in practice, runs scout team plays, things like that. He’s in tremendous condition, he can go all day, loves to play football.

"I mean, he’s a great influence and role model for all of us, for everybody on the team – just his passion for football. But, he’s very competitive and I think his unselfishness and his effort gives him the opportunity to have great leadership because everybody respects that and they know he’s going to do what’s best for the team. He’s going to give us his best in every situation, and he has for a number of years. He’s very durable, dependable and he’s tough."

In 15 regular-season games, Chung had 84 tackles and an interception this season. 

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