BOSTON (CBS) — Rob Gronkowski was working out over the summer and, being a giant human himself, grew a bit fascinated when he spotted another giant human across the room.
The Patriots tight end soon found out it was Martellus Bennett, also part of the NFL tight end brethren, and the two struck up a conversation, hitting it off immediately. Bennett, then a member of the Chicago Bears, agreed with Gronkowski that the two could do some damage if they were ever together on the field at the same time.
Just a few days later, that dream became a reality, as Bennett was sent to the Patriots for a fourth-round pick. And with Gronkowski returning to his normal self last Sunday against the Browns, that dream has now turned into a nightmare for opposing defenses.
With the two giant tight ends sharing the field, it caused quite a bit of chaos for the Cleveland defense. It led to a mismatch for one or the other on nearly every play, and the duo lit up the stat sheet, leading way to a 33-13 Patriots victory (the return of Tom Brady probably helped too, but that goes without saying). Gronkowski hauled in five catches for 109 yards while Bennett collected all three touchdown passes from Brady.
“It’s great working with him. It’s great going out there with him,” Gronkowski said of his new running mate on Thursday. “In every way possible, you just always try to create a mismatch and whoever it is, if it’s a receiver, if it’s a running back going out there flexing; if it’s Martellus going out there, if it’s myself going out there with Martellus, whatever it is, you’re always just trying to find mismatches, so it’s great going out there with him.
It didn’t matter that Bennett got the touchdown glory on Sunday, something Gronkowski is used to having to himself.
“We’re a team and all the players here, that’s what’s so great about working with all the guys here, we’re not really worried about that,” said Gronk. “Martellus has three touchdowns, it can go any other way any other game. The only thing we’re all worried about as a team is getting that ‘W.’ It’s great looking at that all, but in the end, if we get that ‘W,’ that’s all that matters.”
In addition to their larger-than-life performances on the field, the two also boast personalities that are just as big. That’s especially true in the sense of humor department, making them candidates for their own cartoon sometime in the near future.
So just imagine what kind of mischief a man simply known as “Gronk” and a guy who runs The Imagination Agency can get into together — at least when all the important football work is done.
“During meetings we’re super focused in what we have to do. I take a lot of notes; I go through about a notebook a week,” Bennett explained Thursday, something that caught Gronkowski’s attention in their first meeting together. “But as soon as the meeting is over we have fun again. There is a time for work and a time for play.”
Gronkowski had a lot of fun this week with Bennett’s failed spike attempt following his first touchdown against Cleveland. The tight end’s wind up was perfect, but from there it fell apart. Some equated the finished product to 50 Cent’s failed first pitch a few years back, but it’s a comparison Bennett would have none of on Thursday.
“It was a better pitch than spike, I’ll say that,” Bennett joked.
“It happens,” said Gronkowski. “It was pretty funny that it slipped like that. I have to give him credit on the windup. A-plus on that.”
“The form looked great. The picture looked great. The ball just slipped out of my hand. I don’t usually spike and I’m not a big celebration guy,” explained Bennett. “That moment, I was just like ‘Spike this thing.’ I had just come back from being hurt. I don’t know what happened, honestly. It was like holding a pumpkin.”
While Gronk is teaching Bennett how to properly send a football into ground, Bennett can draw a map for Gronkowski towards finding his spirit animal — just another addition to the long list of things that makes Martellus Bennett who he is. He’s “The Black Unicorn,” and he recently termed Brady a snow leopard.
Gronk? Well he’s going to have to figure it out himself.
“He’s just the Gronkinator. No animal for Gronk yet. The spirit animal has to come to you,” he explained, “on a spiritual journey, in the moment. You’re in the middle of a desert somewhere, sitting by yourself, and you’re on this long spiritual journey and you see the animal that you are.”
It’s safe to say the Patriots will get a big game out of one of their tight ends every week, if not both of them, but you never know what is going to come out their mouths leading up to Sunday. More often than not it’s something that will be entertaining, whether it leaves you chuckling or scratching your head.
While we may be laughing at the duo during the week, they’re likely going to leave opposing defenses screaming come Sunday.