www.baltimoresun.com/sports/ravens/ravens-insider/bal-defense-didnt-let-patriots-rob-gronkowski-get-loose-20120924,0,5098735.story

baltimoresun.com

Defense didn't let Patriots' Rob Gronkowski get loose

After allowing Eagles tight end Brent Celek to exploit middle of field, unit proves to be much more effective vs. Gronkowski

By Edward Lee

8:00 AM EDT, September 25, 2012

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A week after allowing tight end Brent Celek to collect a career-high 157 yards in a 24-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eages, the Ravens were much less hospitable to the New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski.

Gronkowski was limited to just two receptions for 21 yards. Although quarterback Tom Brady found wide receivers Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd for 142 and 108 yards, respectively, the defense did an effective job keeping Gronkowski in check.

Outside linebacker Albert McClellan said the Ravens wanted to make sure that Gronkowski, the NFL's record holder in yards and touchdowns for tight ends, did not get a free pass running his routes.

“We just played the same type of ball that he played,” McClellan said. “He’s an aggressive guy, and we played aggressive with him. Some plays, he tried to run through the linebacker corps, and there were some plays where we just hit him off the line and slowed his timing.”

McClelland said he and his teammates also continued to defend Gronkowski even as he finished his routes.

“He’s a great guy,” McClellan said. “His wingspan is so long. You can have perfect coverage, and he can still outreach you and grab onto the ball. It’s about getting to the quarterback and disrupting his timing.”