Jaguars Defensive Coordinator: Patriots' Gronk Cadillac of TE's

Patriots' TE had 8 catches, 123 yards and TD in Week 1 win over Texans

By Brian Jackson - Digital sports reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Cadillac’s are known for their big bodies and for being very well built in the case of a collision with another car. Jaguars’ defensive coordinator Todd Wash feels that New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has all of those same attributes. 

“Hand’s down he’s the best tight end in the league,” said Wash on Thursday. “We faced a real good one last week (Giants TE Evan Engram), but there’s no question he’s the Cadillac of tight ends in the NFL and we’re going to have our hands full.”

Wash noted that the Jaguars are still installing their game-plan for Sunday’s home opener against the Patriots. Listed at 6-foot-6 and 268 pounds, Gronkowski is the size of most NFL defensive ends. What makes him such a matchup nightmare is that he has the speed and athleticism to make catches over multiple defenders.

“You’ve got to be ready to make a play when it comes,” said Jaguars safety Barry Church. “We’ve seen on film where he’s almost triple covered and Brady [Tom] finds a way to fit it in there anyway. You have to keep playing throughout a play even if Brady is holding the ball or looking the other way.”

Jaguars’ cornerback Jalen Ramsey made headlines last month with his comments about Gronkowski in a magazine article. 

"I don't think Gronk's good,” said Ramsey who also added "I don't think Gronk is as great as people think he is."
 
"If that's how he feels, that's how he feels," Gronkowski said Wednesday in response to Ramsey’s comments. "It's a big game. ... I'm sure I'm gonna have opportunities go against him. And I'm sure he's gonna have opportunities to go against me."

During Ramsey’s weekly media availability he made it clear that he welcomes the challenge. 

“He’s good. He’s good, now. We aren’t going to get it twisted. He’s good. But you saying this to me – is it supposed to bring fear to me or something? Alright then. I don’t fear no man, period. He is going to have to come out there and line up on me or however it goes. He has to play us this year.”

Copyright 2018 by WJXT News4Jax. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.