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.”
Here are three questions with Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski:
Question: What do you think James Harrison can bring to the Patriots?
Gronkowski: “He’s a great player and a great player to have on the team. I’m not sure, that’s up to our defensive coordinator to scheme up. I’m on the offensive side of the ball, so I’m just worried about what’s going on on the offense and what I can do to help out.”
Q: How big of a motivating factor is getting the top seed in the AFC?
Gronkowski: “It’s a big game. To get that, we have to put a lot of work in. So we know it’s going to be a good game come Sunday, we have to put the work in, we have to keep preparing hard, and we have to be ready.”