Saturday, July 28, 2012

McDaniels: Gronkowski, Hernandez easy to coach

Photo: jdn, Flickr 

Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was working with Ben Watson and David Thomas as his top two tight ends when he last called New England's offense in 2008. The pair combined for 302 yards and two touchdowns on 31 catches that year.

Things have changed since then.

McDaniels, who is back in charge of the Patriots' offense, now has the league's best tight end in Rob Gronkowski and a would-be starter on almost any other team in Aaron Hernandez to work with.

The tandem combined for 2,237 yards and 24 touchdowns on 167 receptions last season. Not a bad set of tools for McDaniels' new playbook.

"Not being in a meeting room with them until this year, you realize how intelligent they are and how many things they can pick up and how well coached they’ve been and how easy to coach they are, because they really listen well, they take good notes in the meeting room," McDaniels told the media Thursday.

"It’s extremely important to both of them; they both love football. I don’t think you’d necessarily know that unless you were here. Having the opportunity to get to know them this year in the spring and now during training camp, I think that’s what I really appreciate about them."

Gronkowski is just trying to be as receptive as possible.

"Whatever he puts out, that's what I'm going to do," Gronkowski told the media Friday. "Whatever he tells me to do, I'm going to do it and I'm going to perform what Coach McDaniels wants me to, whatever he puts out. [He's a] great coach, love playing for him. [I'm] having a great time out here with him."

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