Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is one of the most unique players in NFL history.
He had an amazing blend of strength, size, quickness and raw football talent that made him almost unstoppable at the peak of his powers. No other player in the league created more matchup nightmares than Gronk. You couldn't cover him with a linebacker because he was too fast. You couldn't cover him with just a safety because he was too strong.
Many people believe now that Gronkowski has announced his retirement from the NFL, we might never see a player like him ever again.
You can include Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in that group. He released the following statement Monday on Gronkowski's retirement.
"I consider myself lucky to have had the pleasure of coaching Rob Gronkowski. 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 attitude, incredible energy and pure selflessness made him an absolute joy and pleasure to coach.
"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' next challenge is figuring out a way to keep the Patriots offense among the highest-scoring units in the league without the presence of Gronkowski. The Patriots don't have much talent or depth at tight end right now, but that likely will change after next month's 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville.
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