Rob Gronkowski: “I know that the New England Patriots, hands down, it is not the easiest place to play, but it gets you right. It gets you mentally right; it gets you physically right… I'm not going to sit here and say it’s an easy organization to play for… I'm definitely going to take what I've learned and apply it to my daily life, big time. I'm very thankful for the 9 years I had with the New England Patriots. I've learned so much under that organization.”
Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski told reporters on Wednesday that the Patriots franchise was ‘not the easiest place to play’ during in interview in which Gronk reminisced on the nine seasons he spent on one of the greatest dynasties in NFL history.
The 30-year-old Gronkowski made five Pro Bowls and was named an All-Pro in four seasons, totaling 7,861 yards and 79 touchdown receptions, while winning three Super Bowls.
Gronkowski missed the entire 2019 season after temporarily retiring. Gronk told reporters that he retired because his body was getting too beat up on the field, and that he ‘couldn’t walk for weeks’ because of a quad injury he suffered in the Super Bowl against the Los Angeles Rams.
It was reported that Gronkowski would only come out of retirement if it meant not only playing for another team not named New England, but being the tight end on a team quarterbacked by Tom Brady.
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said that Brady was the one who pushed Bucs GM Jason Licht to make the trade, and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Brady was telling teams that him and Gronkowski were a ‘package deal.’
Gronk did not reveal specifics into why it ‘wasn’t easy’ to play in New England under Bill Belichick.