Three questions with Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski
When the Patriots beat the Jets in October, Rob Gronkowski caught six passes for 83 yards and scored twice in a 24-17 victory.
He was largely matched up against Jets safety Jamal Adams in that game, but Gronkowski knows the rookie from LSU has improved over the last two months.
He’s a good player that brings a lot of energy to the field, Gronkowski said of Adams ahead of Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Jets at Gillette Stadium. As a player, myself, I have to come ready, I have to come prepared because he’s going to be bringing it.
Gronkowski leads the Patriots with 69 receptions for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns despite missing two games. The Patriots tight end doesn’t anticipate much trash talk from Adams on Sunday, calling the rookie a quiet player on the field.
It’s been a frustrating season for Adams and the Jets (5-10), who will look to end the season on a high note by preventing the Patriots (12-3) from clinching homefield advantage in the AFC playoffs. Gronkowski expects Adams and the Jets to be at their best on Sunday.
It’s going to be definitely a challenging matchup, Gronkowski told reporters. (Adams is) a player that just keeps playing hard. It’s not just him, it’s the defense as a whole. They’re young guys, they play hard and they come at you.
I feel like a damn rookie, Thomas muttered under his breath as he sat down in front of his wine and gold No. 3 uniform. He didn’t play like a rookie, however, as he scored 17 points and played 19 minutes in his long-awaited Cleveland debut.
It was a special night for me, Thomas said afterward. I haven’t played in seven months, so to be able to be out there and compete against another team was special. Obviously to get the win was even bigger but just to be able to compete and be out there in a game setting, it was a great feeling for myself.
Thomas checked in to a standing ovation with 4:33 left in the first quarter — his first official action since Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals when he played for the Boston Celtics and faced the Cavs as an opponent on May 19 — and picked up an assist on his first trip down the floor, passing to his old Boston teammate, Jae Crowder.
It was a special moment, Thomas said of the reception. I haven’t played in a game, and you would think I was here for a few years and playing and battling in Finals with this team, but it was special for my family to be here, my wife and kids to see that, that’s genuine love right there and I appreciate them patiently waiting and giving me the love they did tonight.
Thomas took a spill on his second possession after crossing up Damian Lillard, but got back up with no damage other than a grimace on his face. He attempted his first shot the next time he touched the ball, rimming a 3-pointer in and out.