Broncos’ Brandon Marshall fires first shot across the bow

Broncos linebacker says Rob Gronkowski is hard to cover "because he pushes off"

Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall (AP Photo)

It didn’t take long to get some quasi-bulletin board material in advance of Sunday’s Patriots-Broncos AFC Championship showdown in Denver.

This just in: You can’t stop Rob Gronkowski, you can only hope to contain him.

And the Broncos are on deck to try to defense against the Patriots all-world tight end. Denver linebacker Brandon Marshall weighed in Monday on what makes Gronk so difficult to cover on Monday.

“I say ’cause he pushes off,” Marshall said on PFT Live. “I mean, he pushes off and he gets away with it about 98 percent of the time.”

Gronk was on a roll for getting flagged for offensive pass interference this season — picking up five penalties for the infraction the season — although it hasn’t been an issue lately as No. 87 has been clean since the end of November.

Patriots fans will be less concerned with Marshall’s praising of No. 87. “I think he’s a great tight end,” Marshall said. “He’s big, he’s fast. He’s faster than what you would think. And he has great hands.”

Gronkowski is the all-time leader in postseason touchdowns by a tight end with eight after picking up two TDs Saturday. He finished the regular season with 11 touchdowns and 1,176 yards receiving on 72 catches.

In the last meeting in Denver on Nov. 29 when the Broncos prevailed over the Patriots 30-24 in overtime, Gronk caught six passes for 88 yards and a touchdown before getting carted off the field in the forth quarter after Broncos safety Darian Stewart hit him in the knee.