PATRIOTS TIGHT END ROB GRONKOWSKI
July 26, 2018
Q: How excited are you to be out here for camp?
RG: It’s always exciting to get back and be around the guys again and to start playing football again, start building up for another season.
Q: Does it amaze you what Tom Brady is able to do out here this late in his career?
RG: Yeah, every single year it’s just amazing what he’s doing. It’s just like he was out here when I first got here. He’s full go, always ready to roll and it’s just an inspiration basically, just how fast he’s always playing and he’s ready to roll.
Q: How good did it feel to get out there and just start going full speed again?
RG: It felt good. It’s good to get out there in the first practice, get the wheels turning, get everything going, get the competition amped up. It was fun out there. It’s a grind. Training camp is a grind. You never know what you’re going to get out there and you’ve got to just keep fighting through it.
Q: How difficult is to balance that, knowing how tough it is as a veteran but still having fun while getting all that work done?
RG: You’ve got to enjoy what you do. You’ve got to enjoy the work, and it is; it’s fun. We’ve got good coaches out there. I like working with my coaches, the guys around me, we’re always together, working hard, joking around when it’s time to joke around and just getting work done which is the mail goal.
Q: This has been one of the most scrutinized offseasons in team history. How do you deal with that and how do you put all of that aside?
RG: I mean, I feel like it’s been aside since I first stepped into the building yesterday. I feel like there’s nothing like that going on in the building. Everyone’s together as a team. Everyone’s together as a unit.
Q: Do you think this team will be more heavily scrutinized this year as opposed to previous years when there seemed to be more overwhelming support?
RG: I’m not really worried about that. I mean, we know what’s going on inside the building and that’s everyone working together and that everyone’s working as hard as we can and to the best that we can to get a job done, and that’s to prepare the best that we can out here on the practice field. My job is to come out here and play the best that I can play every single time I step on the field and try to play as a unit.
Q: How much do you use last year’s loss in the Super Bowl as motivation going into this season?
RG: Just coming into a new year there is always motivation, no matter how your season ended. It’s just a new season, a new grind. It’s not about what happened in the past, win or loss. It’s about what goes on in the future now and what goes on in the present right now.
Q: Is there more pressure on you as a player now with Danny Amendola gone and Julian Edelman suspended for the first four games of the season?
RG: There’s been pressure ever since I got here and it’s to do a good job. So whatever my job is asked to do, whatever I get asked to do, I’ve got to go out there no matter what it is and perform to the best of my abilities to do what the coaches ask.
Q: How do you feel physically coming in after having a bit of a different workload in the spring?
RG: I feel good. I’m just excited to get back out here. Once you get out here it’s a little bit more competition, your body starts adjusting to the competition, to all the routes, to all the practices, so it’s just good to be out here.
Q: What do you think of the fan turnout here on Day 1?
RG: Oh, I mean it’s like that every year. I mean, it’s a blessing. We’ve got the greatest fans out here, always supporting in training camp and throughout the whole season. It’s something kind of normal, but you’ve got to appreciate it still.
Q: Are you still working on getting a new contract?
RG: I’m just focused on getting better and it’s just internal – internally with stuff like that.
Q: Do you think that will take care of itself as long as you’re playing and healthy?
RG: Yeah, exactly. I mean, there’s one thing I can do, there’s one thing I can worry about and there’s one thing that I can control and that’s myself, that’s my play, that’s me going out there doing what I’ve got to do to help the team.
Q: There are guys around the league who want new contracts and are holding out. Did you consider that?
RG: No, it hasn’t even came close to considering that. Not even one bit. What I can do, though, is keep preparing, keep showing up every day, keep doing what I’ve got to do to get better.
Q: You told Sports Illustrated that you weren’t sure when the season ended if you wanted to endure another season, both mentally and physically. How much did Alex Guerrero and the work you did with him help you get to the point where you knew you were ready to return this year?
RG: Yes, I mean, I would say that about every season after a long season, though, especially going into the veteran years of my career. But I’d definitely say it definitely helped out and it was good.
Q: In your reflection this offseason, what’s the biggest thing you learned about yourself?
RG: I mean, that I love the game of football. I said it earlier this summer, the game of football is amazing to play, and I’ll repeat it again. [Inaudible] What I learned is how to keep feeling good and keep going and keep enjoying the game of football.
Q: Are you happy here?
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