Gronkowski spoke via video conference with the media on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after a fast-moving story about him wanting to come back with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers turned into an official trade.
Since it happened so fast, there were still unanswered questions. Gronk provided some answers Wednesday.
Rob Gronkowski said he’s feeling good
Gronkowski’s appearance after he retired appeared to be an impediment to him coming back. He lost a noticeable amount of weight.
Gronkowski looked much thinner, even at Super Bowl LIV a few months ago. But he said then and maintains he never lost that much weight and he’s still fairly close to his playing weight. He told the media he played between 262-265 pounds, and he weighed 250 when he woke up Wednesday.
“To put on 10 pounds I think will be pretty easy,” Gronkowski said.
The other issue was his health. Gronk stepped away from the game in part because of the punishment he had taken. Gronkowski said he didn’t “have that fire underneath me” due to feeling worn down health-wise, but he still loved football. The desire started to come back when he felt healthy again. Over the past few weeks, he said he knew he wanted to play again.
“My body 100 percent needed a rest,” Gronkowski said.
Gronkowski felt the urge and might have needed a little push. Then Brady landed with the Buccaneers.
Gronk and Tom Brady met up a couple months ago
Gronkowski said he and Brady got together about two months ago just to throw the ball. He said they didn’t talk much about the future, with Brady about to become a free agent, but he let Brady know he might be interested in a comeback and to reunite with him.
“I said, ‘I’m definitely interested in the decision you make,’ ” Gronkowski said.
Brady wasn’t the only reason he came back but Gronkowski said Brady “was like the appetizer of the whole meal. He got me hooked when he went to Tampa.” Gronkowski said he might have even considered a comeback with the Patriots had Brady returned.
That leads to another side angle of Gronkowski’s comeback. It appeared he came back because he could escape the Patriots organization. It’s no secret that New England challenges its players.
Gronkowski side-stepped a question about what he thought of playing with the Patriots. He said three times that it is “not an easy place to play.” He also said he was thankful to head coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft for the opportunity and would take the lessons he learned from Belichick and the Patriots through the rest of his life.
“I learned so much under that organization,” Gronkowski said. “I learned so much football from the best coach, hands down that will not change, the best coach in all of football, Coach Belichick. I learned more football than I had in my whole entire life under Coach Belichick.”
It will be a new experience for Gronkowski, albeit with a familiar face in Brady. Gronk will be ready for it.
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