BOSTON (CBS) — In terms of Patriots who will feel the loss of Rob Gronkowski the most, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels ranks pretty high on the list. And McDaniels knows just how fortunate he has been to call an offense that included the offensive talents of both Tom Brady and Gronkowski.
McDaniels issued a statement expressing his admiration of Gronkowski on Monday, one day after the All-Pro tight end announced his retirement from football. Like many others who are sharing their thoughts and memories on Gronkowski, McDaniels pointed to the player’s positive attitude as what he’ll miss the most.
“I consider myself lucky to have had the pleasure of coaching Rob Gronkowski,” McDaniels said in his statement. “From the day I met him, he has been authentic, real and genuine. His love for life made every day more fun for the people around him. He was the ideal football player — tough, smart, competitive and always played his best under pressure.
“You always felt you had a chance to win with Rob on the field; he had that kind of impact on the game. He is one of the very few players who could control the game offensively in the pass and run game, and he thoroughly enjoyed being great in both areas. His positive approach, incredible energy and pure selflessness made him an absolute joy and pleasure to coach,” McDaniels continued. “We will miss his contributions to our offense on the field, but maybe more importantly, he will be impossible to replace as a teammate. I have immense respect for the sacrifices he made to help us accomplish our goals as a team, and I am happy that he can walk away on his terms today. There will never be another Gronk.”
McDaniels missed Gronkowski’s first two NFL seasons in New England, but he was in charge of calling plays for the Pats offense for the last seven years of the tight end’s illustrious career. Like everyone else in Foxboro, McDaniels will greatly miss everything that Gronkowski brought to the table, both on and off the field.