It's becoming more common for retired NFL players to speak about today's game, sharing their thoughts on how rule changes impact how it's played in particular. Tom Brady set the football world on fire late last year when he stated there's a lot of "mediocre" football being played this season, which prompted many to come out of the woodwork to discredit the quarterback's career.
But his take wasn't wrong, and most of this season's playoff games prove that further.
And now we have heard from another former Patriot who has a possibly controversial yet accurate take on how the position he played at such a high level for so long is being played nowadays, at least according to Julian Edelman, who shared what Rob Gronkowski has said while watching games together during the season.
On a recent episode of his podcast "Games With Names," Edelman spoke about working with his former teammate at Fox Sports and shared Gronk's opinion about how tight ends play in today's game.
Considered one of, if not the best, to ever play the position, his thoughts are more valid than those of any analyst or commentator, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know he's telling the truth.
The most noticeable change about tight ends in the league now is their lack of blocking, which is part of their job description. It's why the bigger the player, the more desirable they are for teams needing a tight end. Gronkowski was one of the best at not just making catches and scoring touchdowns, but his nearly impeccable blocking made him invaluable to the Patriots during their dynastic run.
It's not something you see when watching games today, as most tight ends are used as jumbo wide receivers and treated as such. You rarely see them partaking in a critical part of their job, blocking, which allows them to essentially stat pad and put together seasons that rival some of the best receivers in the league.
It may be controversial or harsh to some, but it accurately accounts for how most of today's tight ends play the game. Maybe it's not entirely their fault, as their offensive coordinator calls up the plays. But why have a tight end on the team if they don't fulfill the entirety of their job?