Rob Gronkowski knew Patriots would fall off when Tom Brady left

Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski did not hold back when discussing the problems of his former team in a recent appearance on “Up & Adams.”

He was asked directly if he had the feeling that the team would go downhill without Tom Brady at quarterback. There was no sugar-coated response from the greatest tight end that ever lived.

“Yes, definitely, 100 percent,” said Gronkowski. “I definitely had that conscious feeling throughout my time there, and it has proven itself as well. There’s no doubt about that. Brady was the meat. He was the ringer in that organization—no doubt about it, from A to Z. From the way to represent yourself on the field to the way to represent yourself off the field, it just fit the mold for everyone else to fall in place. Without Tom, I saw that it was going to trickle down and not work anymore. He was the guy that was taking the pay cuts at the quarterback position as well. So it set the standard that no other player was going to get an absolute, absurd contract as well.

“And when things were tough, I mean Tom Brady always fought his way out of it. Now you just watch them, it’s like, things are getting tough and they’re just accepting it, ‘Oh, it’s alright. We’re going to lose. We don’t have that good of a team.’ It’s weird. Tom would have never accepted that. And we would be out on the practice field, not making any excuses, not throwing anyone under the bus. And that’s what’s going on now, I feel like people are throwing each other under the bus. They’re not clicking. That would have just never happened.”

Even for the most loyal Patriots fans, it’s hard to argue with Gronkowski’s points. Brady was the ultimate teammate in New England, and his leadership helped guide the franchise to six Super Bowl titles.

It’s the same leadership he used to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl victory in his first year with the team in 2020.

The Patriots are an absolute mess right now. They are 2-8 on the season with the worst record in the entire AFC. Last Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts was some of the worst football the team has put on display in franchise history.

Now, coach Bill Belichick could be on the way out, and the team is likely headed towards a complete rebuild in 2024. This current version of the Patriots is nothing like the ones Brady led for nearly two decades.

Doing your job feels different with No. 12 under center.

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire