Belichick wanted to give Gronk chance

January, 1, 2012
1/01/12
5:45
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Reaction from coach Bill Belichick and tight end Rob Gronkowski on Gronkowski setting the NFL record for most receiving yardage by a tight end in a season:

Belichick on the decision to throw to him on the final drive, up 49-21: "That last play, I had [offensive coordinator] Billy [O'Brien] call that because I wasn't sure exactly where he was and I thought he deserved a chance to go up and try to make another play. He's had a great year, he's worked hard, and I thought he deserved that."

Gronkowski on Belichick giving him that chance: "It's unbelievable. It's surreal that they even let me get that opportunity. It's cool that they'd even let me go out there. We could have just kneed the ball, we put [backup quarterback Brian] Hoyer in the game, and he threw a nice pass, and I just went up and made a play. That's what is so great about being here with your teammates, with the coaches, everyone is so unselfish that it's crazy. I thanked them after the game letting me have a chance like that. It never would have been done without my teammates, without Aaron [Hernandez], without the QBs, without the coaches."

Click HERE to read more about Gronkowski's record day

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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