ROB GRONKOWSKI POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE

September 9, 2018

Q: Rob, you had a big game today. The one blip was probably the strip fumble you had after a big play. Can you talk us through that one?

RG: Yeah, I just made the catch and then, I don’t know, I just caught it looking up the field and you’ve just got to be aware, I mean, these players in the NFL are fantastic. Everyone is fast, everyone is quick and everyone knows how to get at the ball and try to strip the offensive players with the ball. I’ve got to do a better job with that for sure and it’s going to start with practice to get better with that.

Q: Rob, the catch at the end of the second quarter was a big play at that point of the game. Take us through it. What was going through your mind as soon as you hit the ground you see Tom [Brady] race up to the line of scrimmage and you guys got that snap off and the play stood?

RG: Yeah, when I was running up the seam I had two guys on me and when I saw the ball in the air I literally thought first thing, “What is Tom [Brady] thinking?” When that ball was in the air I had a guy grabbing me and I was just like, “I’ve just got to go for it.” I can’t let them make a play on it, so just went up for it, made the catch. I did make the catch. I don’t know how. When I went to the ground I had it stable in my hand, so it was definitely a catch, but Tom went up to the line really quick just to make sure. We got the play off, which was nice.

Q: How is it that you and Tom Brady have this cohesiveness between each other and especially with the first touchdown when you had two guys on you at that time as well?

RG: It’s a lot of practice, no doubt. A lot of practice. It’s never letting up, it’s a lot of consistency out there on the practice field. Doing it every week, doing it in the offseason, doing it in it camp, doing it whenever. You can’t just get on a page like that just from the get-go. You’ve got to put work in, you’ve got to put time in and that’s what we do.

Q: Rob, there were reports before the game today that you made it clear to the Patriots in the offseason that you wanted to play for the Patriots. Can you comment on that and also is that sort of the same as your thoughts after the Super Bowl [LII] when you said you weren’t certain about your future?

RG: I was wondering why they asked me that on the field right after the game. I was like, ‘Where is this coming from again?’ No, I’m just glad to be here, glad to be part of this team, glad to be part of this organization and all that talk, all that stuff, I mean I would love to put it in the past. Whatever it is, whatever reports keep coming out because I’m here and I’m here to stay and I’m here to keep playing ball with the Patriots and just enjoying my time here.

Q: Rob, James Develin is a guy who works really in two position groups, fullback, but also spends a lot of time in your room or with you guys on the field as a tight end. Today four catches for him and a key first down obviously late in the game. Is that the guy you see every day? He’s so respected in the locker room, what does he bring to your group in particular and what we saw today with only six catches all of last season, to have four receptions in a key spot as well?

RG: It’s huge. I mean really don’t have that many guys right now in the tight end room, wide receiver room. We’re low on running backs, so we need to use everyone and he’s been always preparing and been always ready. Every time since I [can] remember since he’s been here, he’s always been ready to catch the ball. To get the first down, how many yards we need. He works hard, he plays hard, he blocks hard. It’s great to have him in the room. Part of us tight ends, tight ends and fullbacks we call each other.

Q: Rob, two things. Just talk about how you cleared some space for James White on that touchdown in the second quarter and also how often do you work on those end-of-game Hail Mary situations? 

RG: I got to rewatch the film to see the James White touchdown. I mean, the game and everything, I’m really not sure exactly what the coverage was or anything, but I mean you’ve just always got to do your job. Run good routes even when you know the ball might not be coming to you because you’ve got to get another player open on the offensive side so taking guys is part of the game. It’s part of the team and that’s how you do it. The jump ball, you don’t work on it, it’s not an everyday thing. Something you install, you work on it once or twice a year and you just remember the jump ball. It’s easy.

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