Bill Belichick says Rob Gronkowski fell asleep on the floor at Patriots pre-draft meeting

Jack BaerWriter

If you think you’ve ever tanked a job interview, just listen to what Bill Belichick had to say about Rob Gronkowski’s first impression with the New England Patriots.

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The now-retired Patriots great was named to the NFL’s 100th anniversary all-time team on Friday, and his coach of nine years was on hand to share memories of one the greatest tight ends to ever play the game. In between the praise for Gronkowski’s dominance on the field and his well-known hijinks off it, there was this interesting little story:

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Belichick’s exchange with Rich Eisen:

What was everything going on with Gronk from the beginning?

Rob was kind of a shot in the dark. He came up on his pre-draft visit, had a bad visit. We put him in a room, came back, he was asleep on the floor. Didn’t make a very good impression.

He was what? He was sleeping on the floor?

I brought him in, you know, we’re getting ready to have a meeting with the coaches and go through, then fell asleep on the floor. Oh boy. Kind of got a slow start there. Went to Arizona, didn’t start as a freshman, had a decent year as a sophomore. Caught 30 passes, and then misses junior year with back surgery. Then came out early for the draft. So there wasn’t much to go on. We traded up for him and we just bet that he would come through. He certainly did big-time.

That is ... quite something. Just imagine waking up in a Patriots office, with Bill Belichick staring down at you as your NFL future hangs in the balance. It’s also quite something that Belichick still went ahead and traded up to draft that player 42nd overall in 2010.

As Belichick alludes to, it obviously worked out. 7,861 receiving yards, 80 total touchdowns, five Pro Bowls, three Super Bowl rings. And now, all the naps he wants, in between partying and hosting music festivals. Pretty good for a “shot in the dark.”

Rob Gronkowski didn't hide his true self when meeting with the Patriots. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Rob Gronkowski didn't hide his true self when meeting with the Patriots. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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