Are the Bills Going to Seek Payback Against Gronk?

“I’m glad I had my mouthpiece in. I probably could’ve bit my tongue off. I bit my lip pretty bad. Terrible headache. It is what it is. He did what he wanted to do. … He is what he did. Dirty shot, so what does that make him? Dirty player. Simple. … His intentions were to hurt me. …  I mean, he could have broke my neck, could have paralyzed me. … I’ll be fine. As long as I’m able to walk and raise my son and do the things that I want to do.” – Tre’Davious White, three weeks ago

“Just a dirty play.” – Micah Hyde

“Of course, yeah. For sure. Oh yeah.”
Jordan Poyer, asked if the play could carry over into this week’s game.

“As I had time to think about it, I knew that [Gronkowski] wasn’t that type of player. We just honed in and moved on from it. I get to see him Sunday, and the best way that I can handle that situation is to try to go in there and get a big old W in their stadium and help our playoff chances. I’m not a guy that’s going to try to do a cheap shot after the whistle, nothing. I’m going to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played, and respect the game.” – White, this week

When Rob Gronkowski lost his shit and Super Fly Snooka’d Tre’Davious White, I called him out on it. I said he was in the wrong, hurt his team and deserved to get suspended. Then when White clapped back with those comments about how Gronk’s hit almost cost him his tongue and put him in a wheelchair and orphaned his kid, I called him out too for a ridiculous overreaction. And got hammered for it by some of the 1’s and 0’s in the comments section. Well I’m glad White has come around to agree with me and sees the error of his ways. Let’s just say that, like Gronk, he got caught up in the emotion of the moment. I respect him walking back his comments. It takes a big man to admit when when he’s wrong. And I’m sure the few stand up guys who clapped back at me for being right will do likewise. Apology accepted, everyone.

And while I take White at his word that he’s not going to be targeting Gronk Sunday, it begs the question: Will the rest of the Bills? Or will they order a Code Red in retaliation?

Gronk is the top of Bills Mafia hit list. He always has been because he plays his best ball against them (12 career games, 61 receptions for 960 yards and 11 TDs), but now more than ever because of the hit on White. Not to mention, this is a team that has traditionally tried to [clicks on the Football Cliche’ Generator app] play with “an edge.” Has anyone forgotten this move from last year?

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As an organization, the Bills have had an inferiority complex for a generation now. One that they’ve earned. But in a year where they started out answering questions about tanking, 14 games in they find themselves just inside the Kuiper Belt of the playoff solar system. If they get in it’ll be for the first time in the 21st century. They’ve responded to Sean McDermott in ways they never did to Rex Ryan. This just seems like the perfect situation for someone on that roster to step up and say they won’t be pushed around any more and this is not your dad’s Buffalo Bills.

And let’s face it, the book on defending Gronk has been to take him out at the knees ever since he came into the league. It’s how Bernard Pollard tore up his ankle in the 2012 playoffs, rendering him so ineffective in the Super Bowl That Shall Not Be Named II that the Giants were calling him “a fucking decoy.” It’s how Darian Stewart of the Broncos’ blew his knee out in 2015. And every time it happens the justification is the same: You can’t stop Gronk hitting him high, so you have to hit him low.

Now add to that the oldest justification in all of human endeavors, revenge. So I think absolutely we’ll see somebody on the Bills take a shot at him. Not Tre’Davious White, but probably some bottom of the roster depth guy trying to make a name for himself. As a matter of fact, I’ve heard from a few Patriots fans who’d rather he just sit. Or at the very least, come out of the game if they get up by a decent score. But that’s never going to happen.

First of all, Belichick was more pissed off than anyone at the original hit, so he’s not going to do any favors for the guy whose lack of composure probably cost him the Miami game. Second, the Patriots need to win out and can’t be taking their best weapon off the field. And finally, there’s a huge financial component here. He’s 183 receiving yards away from maxing out on a $5.5 million incentive bonus in a deal he restructured this past off-season. That matters. Granted, not as much as keeping him healthy for the run at at sixth banner. But it’s not nothing. If he’s healthy, he stays in. The bottom line is that all the stars are aligned for this to be an old school NHL-style revenge game. Someone is going to goon it up. And Gronk and the Patriots will just have to keep their heads on a swivel. I can’t wait.
@jerrythornton1