"He kind of reminds me of myself the way he breaks tackles,” Coates said. “But he's much bigger than me, much stronger than me. Just to watch him, the way he catches the ball, he's very aggressive. He's not the type that is going to lay down. He becomes like a defender when he gets the ball -- he runs over people. He's trying to knock people out before they knock him out."
"Rob is a complete tight end. He can run block, get vertical, catch the ball. There aren't many that can run block the defensive end by himself or pass-block a very good linebacker like Von Miller."
Coates has never actually met Gronkowski, but he has a high appreciation and respect for the way he plays the game.
"It's not [bittersweet] because records are made to be broken. He's a phenomenal tight end and he's wearing the number, and I'm happy to see that number is still pretty big in New England," Coates said. "Just make sure he takes care of himself. They are totally different when he's not in the game."