Rob Gronkowski has been synonymous with catching touchdowns from Tom Brady. In fact no other player since 2010 has had more touchdown catches. Everything seemed to be going great until 2012 when the Giants faced the New England Patriots in Superbowl 46. Gronkowski was not able to perform up to task because of his ankle. Many skeptics and fans of the Patriots thought that with a little more help from Gronkowski the Patriots may have been in better position to win the game. Luckily for Gronkowski most people have forgotten about his subpar performance in Superbowl 46. However things have not gotten better. Now with four surgeries on his arm and a back operation things are not looking good for Rob Gronkowski to return to form of what he was over a year and a half ago. The big question that came from all of this towards Gronkowski was his work ethic and keeping his body in shape. I myself do not believe that Rob Gronkowski has a problem with keeping in shape or working with his team. The one big area of concern for me though has been Gronkowski’s professionalism towards the NFL and how he conducts himself off the field. Overall Rob Gronkowski is a good person and I am no way questioning his character or ability to do the right thing. However the problem I have is his lack of professionalism and by that I mean what is he seen doing off the football field. He goes to clubs and break dances which I’m not sure are the best thing for ones back. And while this sounds funny I am serious when I’m trying to make the point that he needs to grow up to some degree. Stop with the dancing and woos and ahhs and just act like a man and play the game. As I said I think he is up to par with putting in the team work and working out. I just think that Gronk needs to take a step back, realize what is important and become just a little bit more laid back. Maybe these injuries will be a blessing in disguise for the young tight end and it may just teach him a few things.
Rob Ryan is a by all means under the radar figure in the national NFL media. He will not attract headlines and I guarantee that a casual NFL fan would not be able to tell you a lot about him . Through 1987 to 2003 Rob Ryan worked to gain what he has now by being everything from an assistant head coach in college to a line backers coach for the New England Patriots. He finally landed a defensive coordinator position with the Oakland Raiders from 2004 to 2008. Overall this journey along with his journeys from Cleveland to Dallas were left with no considerable wins but his talent of calling plays still showed through all of this . I myself argue that in these situations he was not dealt the best hands in terms of help around him. Not to make excuses for Rob Ryan but Oakland has been a train wreck for some time and in 2006 Rob Ryans defense was 3rd in yards allowed which was a lone bright spot on this team . As we know Oakland has still not gotten it together as of now which is 2013. Then Rob ventured to Cleveland for a year where an offense has been a rarity and just an abomination to the fans of the Browns. Robs last stop before the Saints was in Dallas where needless to say it’s a conundrum run by Jerry Jones so obviously its not the greatest situation. However now that Rob Ryan has joined the New Orleans Saints it seems to be a perfect fit. Even without Sean Payton last year the Saints were still 1st in the league in passing yards. Their defense was 31st in the league which means that almost every game the Saints had to depend on their offense. Now with Rob Ryan coming in it seems that the Saints are willing to let him run the show on defense. The first aspect that has to be acknowledged is that this is the best atmosphere he has ever been around. This is so because of how good the situation is for him from the people he gets to work with from getting the pleasure of improving a 31st ranked defense which is known he is capable of doing. The Saints were still in a lot of close games last year even with their situation so it has to be believed that with Rob Ryan their defense will improve to at least 20th best which will put them in a lot better position to win. To end on this note no matter where Rob Ryan has gone the defense may not have always been great but it certainly was never 31st in the league so only good things will come from this hire.
May 25th –
Michael Crabtree has suffered a minimum 6 month Achilles injury. Since the 49ers have secured Anquan Boldin this offseason talk of Crabtree’s injury has not been as magnified. However true followers of the 49ers will tell you that this is a huge loss. Probably the most significant loss that will be felt is Crabtree’s big play ability and chemistry with Colin Kaepernick. In their recent playoff games Crabtree has made more than a few exceptional grabs putting the 49ers in position to win. Now while Anquan Boldin can provide the same he will not be as versatile as Crabtree was at the wide receiver position. Crabtree is faster than Anquan Boldin and can make things happen in more areas of the field. Boldin and Crabtree would be good complements because Boldin is the big physical wide receiver teams are looking for while Crabtree can almost do it all at the wide receiver position. In no way is this taking away from how good Anquan Boldin or Vernon Davis are but Crabtree’s injury will be felt by the entire team and could result in a less productive offense. One also has to look at the running game as well now that Frank Gore is getting older. In my opinion Crabtrees loss is significant and although I believe Jim Harbough will still have success I believe that the offense will be less productive and the 49ers may lose a couple of close games that they may not normally lose.
– May 22nd –
Brian Urlacher decided to call it quits on this humid north eastern day. The eight time pro-bowler said that he has chosen retirement due to not being able to receive what he was looking for in the free agent market. However the 5 time all pro has been dealing with injuries recently in his career missing the 2009 season with a wrist injury and having problems with his back and knees. It was not stated but these injuries may have something to do with his 2013 retirement. The product from the University of New Mexico has played 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears. He got to do what a lot of players do not which is to have an exceptional career with only one team. The 2007 Brian Piccolo award winner melted his shoes in bronze today and put them on the mantle and will go down as a respected player in this league. Even though Brian Urlacher was not able to bring a championship trophy to the windy city he always brought everything he had when he stepped on the field. That was his last message that he wanted to leave the fans.
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