New York Giants: Rob Gronkowski

Giants prepare for The Gronk

January, 31, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS -- Rob Gronkowski got rid of the walking boot for his high ankle sprain for Super Bowl media day.

But Justin Tuck is still hopeful that Gronkowski's ankle sprain will slow him down a tad on Sunday.

"Hopefully that ankle hurts a little more than everyone expects it to and he is not as versatile as he has been," Tuck said. "You talk about the talent that he is -- he had probably the best year for a tight end ever.

"We know how to play against him. Obviously, we got the opportunity to play against him and see what he is all about in Week 9 and he had a great game. If he plays and regardless of what percentage he is, we will have some things in place to kind of have our best foot forward as far as stopping him."

Tom Coughlin said the Giants have been preparing for different personnel combinations the Patriots may throw at them.

Safety Antrel Rolle said the Giants can handle Tom Brady and his weapons if they execute the game plan.

"I definitely think so," Rolle said. "Tom Brady is an exceptional quarterback, but I feel like if we put our mind to it and play the way we have been playing, and if all of us go out there and play as one, we might not be able to stop everything he is doing but we'll stop a whole lot of the things he is trying to do."

"We are definitely going to take care of business," Rolle added. "Those guys are exceptional at what they do. And we understand that. But so are we."
Through seven weeks, the Giants' defense has done a solid job against tight ends.

Perry Fewell's unit has given up an average of three catches and 38 yards to tight ends this year.

Of course, they struggled in Week 1 against Washington’s Fred Davis. Davis found plenty of open space between the linebackers and safeties Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant, catching five balls for 105 yards in the Redskins' win.

Taking Davis out of the equation, tight ends have averaged just two catches for 29 yards against the Giants this year.

So how have they done it?

Says Fewell, “I think they are focused more.”

That focus will be put to the test on Sunday against New England.

The Patriots feature a deadly duo at tight end.

First, there’s Aaron Hernandez, who is essentially a receiver in a tight end's body. Hernandez has missed two games due to injury but has still amassed 29 catches for 298 yards and four TDs.

“He will be a handful for us,” Fewell said.

Same goes for Rob Gronkowski.

The 2010 second-round pick ranks in the top five in catches (38), touchdowns (5) and yards per game (70.9) among NFL tight ends.

The Giants secondary, however, believes it matches up well against the tight ends.

Grant says the Giants are at an advantage because they feature a three-safety set and, according to Grant, all three can line up one-on-one against Hernandez.

"All of us like to play man-to-man and can play man-to-man," the veteran safety said he, Rolle and Kenny Phillips.

Linebacker Michael Boley should have an opportunity to cover Gronkowski. But he'll have plenty of help if he struggles.

“It’s a challenge even with one tight end," Grant said. "So it will definitely be a challenge with two."