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Rob Gronkowski details what he's expecting from Steelers this week after owning them over course of career

Ryan Hannable
December 13, 2018 - 5:46 pm
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FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski loves facing the Steelers.

Not because he went to high school outside of Pittsburgh as a senior, but because he's dominated them over the course of his career.

In six games, the tight end has 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.

So, how has he been able to be so good against them?

“Just playing ball," Gronkowski said Thursday. "Just going out and doing what we’ve got to do, preparing throughout the week and going out and executing. Just executing playing and that is what we have to keep on doing. Been having a good practice week this week. Got to keep on building chemistry out there with the whole offense. When we go out there Sunday we have to be prepared mentally and physically and we have to execute plays in order to put up points.”

Mike Tomlin and the Steelers defenders noted this week they are going to do everything in their power not to let Gronkowski have another big game.

The tight end himself is just expecting more of the same.

“I feel like they will throw a lot of things," he said. "I have seen a lot from them before — a lot of coverages, a lot of split safety, post safety, man, zone. They switch it up a lot, too. So, I have had a couple of guys before — a linebacker has covered me one time, a safety, or a corner. To tell you the truth, they actually mix it up a lot and you have to be prepared for it all, whatever coverage or whatever guy it is.”

Pittsburgh desperately needs a win as with a loss it likely will be on the outside looking in of the playoffs, while the Patriots need a win to maintain the AFC's No. 2 overall seed.

Related: Patriots remain healthiest they've been all year, while Steelers get key players back at practice

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