PATRIOTS TIGHT END ROB GRONKOWSKI
September 19, 2018
Q: What’s your reaction to having Josh Gordon on the team?
RG: Yeah, he’s a really good player and it’s good to have him here.
Q: What do you know about him as a player and his style of play?
RG: I know that he’s a good player, but I can’t really get into details. I’ve never really practiced with him like that before seeing him in person play. But, what I’ve seen before, he’s a great player and just definitely glad to have him here.
Q: What’s a guy like him have to do to fit in? Why do some veterans fit in here?
RG: Work hard. Do your job. That explains it all.
Q: But you’ve seen a lot of guys that it doesn’t work out with.
RG: I guess they weren’t doing their job then. That’s the way to put it I guess.
Q: The Lions do some similar stuff in the secondary to what you guys do on defense. Is there any advantage to having practiced against that defense?
RG: I mean, I’ve seen a lot of defenses — we have, just as an offense — and you just never know what you’re going to get. You never know the game plan. You’ve got to be prepared for all and just got to go out there and execute. It doesn’t matter what you see, if you know what’s coming — it doesn’t matter unless you go out there and execute.
Q: Tom Brady has said before that at this point in his career, he feels like he has the answers to the test. Do you ever feel that way when you’re preparing for a game or during a game?
RG: I mean, sometimes, definitely. If you prepare hard enough, if you go out there and you prepare, watch film, practice hard, then you go out there and see what they’ve got and you can read the defenses well when you’re on the field, then, yeah, it’s definitely an advantage.
Q: Do you feel like that is coming more naturally to you at this point in your career?
RG: I would say so, definitely way more than when I was a rookie back in the day and back in the earlier years because you’re just trying to get the plays down, you’re just trying to get open. But now, there’s more to it. Once that part of the game slows down, once the plays slow down in your head, then you can start reading defenses, seeing what’s out there.
Q: You said Sunday you have to do a better job of finding open spaces. What are some of the things you can do to accomplish that?
RG: Execute better. Find the open holes, get open on the zone defenses better and when it’s man-to-man, get some separation.
Q: What’s it like going up against a team coached by a former assistant that was with the Patriots for so long?
RG: It’s the NFL. There’s guys, there’s coaches, every single year, basically every game, where you play and you’ve been on their team before, you’ve been on their side before. It happens all the time. It happened with Houston, and you’ve just got to go out and execute. It’s all about execution. You can know what they’re going to do, but if you don’t go out and you don’t out-perform the other team, it just doesn’t matter.
Q: Is there anything in practice that Matt Patricia would do to make things challenging for you?
RG: I mean, not really. They would just always execute what they needed to execute on the defensive side of the ball and they did what they did to get better during practice. He’s a great coach, great defensive coach and I know he’s going to have a good scheme and be ready for us, so we’ve got to be ready too.
Q: Did anything stand out about Josh Gordon in practice today? His size or his speed?
RG: Oh, that is one thing – didn’t really – during practice you know, we’re out there just trying to do our own thing, but from what I’ve seen before, definitely his size with his speed is great. You don’t really see that often.
Q: Are there any moments when you start to get excited about being on the same field with him since you both have that size and speed?
RG: Yes, definitely. I mean, you can’t really worry about what’s going on. I’ve got to really focus on what I’ve got to do too. And being here, there really isn’t too much excitement. So, I don’t know.
Q: Why not?
RG: So, I don’t know. Getting excited is kind of scary.
Q: But you sort of bring the excitement, no?
RG: I mean, I try.
Q: We saw you chucking the ball around in mini-camp I think?
RG: Yeah, that was cool.
Q: As you start to get into the game plan, what do you see from the Lions’ defense that they do well that will challenge you guys on Sunday night?
RG: They play well. They’re going to have a good game plan. They’re going to scheme well. They’re always ready. They’ve got good players, and we’ve just got to go out there and we’ve got to execute. We know that they’re going to be ready and they’re going to have a good scheme, good game plan ready.
Transcripts are provided by the Patriots media relations department.
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