On today’s NFL Live, Eric Mangini, Herm Edwards and Mark Schlereth discussed the news of Rob Gronkowski’s upcoming back surgery and how it might impact the Patriots.
There is a chance Gronkowski could miss at least the first part of the season. To Mangini, a former coordinator under Bill Belichick in New England, the addition of tight end Jake Ballard last offseason helps lessen that blow.
“It makes the Jake Ballard claim that much more important,” Mangini explains in the video above. “And I thought that he was a player that can really help once he became healthy. They had to wait for a year for that to happen. But now to have that player, assuming he can be healthy for the start of the season, that’s a great pickup.”
Mangini described the Patriots as a team that is great at adjusting to personnel woes.
“I don’t think this is a team that doesn’t want to pass the ball outside, it’s just that their best options have been [Wes] Welker, Gronkowski, [Aaron] Hernandez, they’re not opposed to doing that. With Bill and Tom [Brady] they’ll do whatever they have to do to win the game, if they have to figure out a different way, they’ll figure it out.”
Edwards didn’t seem as confident: “When you lose great players, it affects you.”