New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski Isn’t Getting Caught Up in Personal Accolades

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 13: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots and Rob Gronkowski #87 react during the second quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

There was a point not too long ago that it appeared that Rob Gronkowski’s biggest notoriety this season was his night hanging out with adult film star Bibi Jones and the publishing of the now-infamous Twitter photo. Now, about six weeks later, the New England Patriots tight end is putting together a mesmerizing second season and has some people mentioning him as an MVP candidate. Only LeSean McCoy has more total touchdowns this season than Gronkowski, who found the end zone twice through the air and once on the ground against the Colts on Sunday. He has 65 receptions for 928 yards and 13 touchdowns for a Colts team that is 9-3 and perhaps the team to beat out of the AFC. Rob Gronkowski joined 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston with Toucher & Rich to discuss his three-touchdown game against the Colts last Sunday, the notoriety he’s receiving at the national level, teams having trouble covering him, if he’s being recognized more, working in no-huddle situations and his favorite player growing up.

You had three touchdowns in Sunday’s game against the Colts. How many games like that have you had in your life?:

“That was my third time doing it. I did it my sophomore year in college, my rookie year last year and then this year again. It’s cool when you get those days.”

What does it mean to you that some people are considering you a possible MVP candidate?:

“I didn’t even know that. That’s all cool and everything, but none of that stuff really matters, man. All that matters is getting the victories and all that matters is the team. … Really, none of that media stuff really matters. I mean, what does it matter about our victories every week that I’m No. 10 on that? Nothing really.”

Are teams having trouble finding a way to defend you?:

“I think it’s just overall how good our team is, how great our weapons are in the wide-receiving corps, our running backs and with Aaron Hernandez, too. So you can’t just focus on one person. If you do, someone else is going to dominate. It’s just overall how well our team is executing that. Tom is just hitting open guys and defenses are confused.”

Has life changed at all for you with more recognition?:

“It really hasn’t. I just drive to work every day and drive home. I really don’t go out right now. I’ll let you know in the offseason.”

You guys seem particularly unstoppable in the no-huddle. Who makes the call on when to use that?:

“It’s just everything overall. It’s just everyone coming together during the week and figuring out what would be the best plays to run.”

How long did it take you to feel comfortable in those situations?:

“Definitely takes a while. When you’re first getting in, trying to learn the playbook was pretty hard and everything. It’s a whole new language coming in from your college team. When you go no huddle, you have less time to think, less time to react, so it makes it even harder. … That’s what training camp is for. That’s where you get everything down.”

Who was your favorite player growing up and do you emulate them on the field today?:

“It was definitely Tony Gonzalez growing up. I always watched him. He also played in the Pac-10, too. … I feel like he knows how to box out and everything when he gets the ball thrown to him, how to block out the defender and make the catch. I loved watching him play and it’s an honor to be playing in the same league as him.”

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