One of the key components of the New England offense in 2011 was their dynamic tight ends, led by Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Gronkowski injured his ankle in the AFC Championship Game, but he and the team are insisting that it will not be an issue in the Super Bowl. According to Dan Salomone at the official Giants website, the injury -- and the Patriots tight end-centered offense -- is something that New York is keeping an eye on.
Giants linebacker Michael Boley had this to say:
From week to week it has been a similar thing for us as far as our game plan. It has always been about these are the guys that we have to stop going into the game. We always have a list of targeted guys that can make a game. For the tight ends, it has been a long list of them lately and it is kind of one of those things that we embrace. We love the challenge.
Safety Antrel Rolle added the following:
It all depends on your defensive scheme. There's many ways that you can try to take away those guys. Those guys are exceptional tight ends and they've been Brady's go-to guys all year long along with Wes Welker. They present a great challenge. No matter how you look at it. No matter what you try to do, you have to go out there and do the job. You have to do the job that's at hand. It's going to be a battle. It's going to be a battle each play.
The matchup of the New England tight ends against the New York defense will be just one of the many story lines to keep an eye on in this year's Super Bowl.