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In the past, a Chiefs-Patriots matchup used to thrust the tight end position into the spotlight, heavily focusing on how New England would defend Tony Gonzalez. When Kansas City invades Gillette Stadium on "Monday Night Football" for the first meeting between the teams in three seasons, the script will be flipped a bit.
Patriots second-year tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez have emerged as tough covers for the opposition, and Kansas City coach Todd Haley raved about the duo this week. In fact, Haley suggested that the Chiefs had their eyes on both during the 2010 NFL draft while searching for their own replacement after Gonzalez departed for Atlanta the year before.
"Both these guys are really playing well. Hernandez and Gronkowski are players that I both, personally, really thought a lot of coming out [of college] and we spent time with both the guys at the combine," Haley said. "We spent a lot of time watching tape and [they're] players that [we] really, really thought had a chance to be good and they haven't disappointed."