Rob Gronkowski says the 2023 Patriots "don't look like a Coach Belichick team"
As one of the handful of former Patriots in the national media nowadays, Rob Gronkowski is constantly asked about his old team, mainly while appearing on FanDuel TV's "Up & Adams."
Since it's not the most pleasant team to discuss right now, especially when you still have strong connections there, Gronk had a lot to say about the current state of the Patriots. As they sit with a 2-7 record heading into their Week 10 matchup with the Colts in Germany, he shared a blunt take, stating the team does not look like one that Bill Belichick coaches.
"It is a little weird that they're in last place with the worst record in the AFC. That's weird. It's hard to talk about it because it's so weird. I would say they don't look like a Coach Belichick team. They don't look like they're coached by Coach Belichick at all."
Although it's not fun to hear criticism about the Patriots, Gronk's impression is not unwarranted. It has become one of the most common talking points around New England as the Patriots continue to play the complete opposite of what most fans and media have become accustomed to under Belichick.
Poor decision-making, careless mistakes, piling up of penalties, etc., are all the uncharacteristic traits to describe the 2023 Patriots, all of which have typically been what Belichick has been praised for keeping his team from not doing over the years.
On top of that unfavorable list of issues with the team, Gronk shared what he feels is the biggest one they are yet to overcome: closing out games. He gives their latest loss to the Commanders as the most recent example, mentioning the final pass from Mac Jones to JuJu Smith-Schuster, which fell through his hands and resulted in an interception.
It was just the latest in a string of heartbreaking one-score losses to add on the year.
"The problem with the Patriots is they're in a lot of games, they just don't know how to seal the deal. For example, the game last week against the Commanders, JuJu Smith-Schuster had the game-sealing drop to lose the game. They had another opportunity, but JuJu dropped the ball. If you go back to a couple of the other games, there are many situations like that where they can't close at all. This team can't close and that's the main problem."
It's difficult to agree that their inability to finish games is their main problem since they have so many they've been dealing with this year. But it's undoubtedly one of their most frustrating.