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Rob Gronkowski Conference Call Transcript

Posted Dec 20, 2011

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski addresses the Miami media during his conference call on Tuesday, December 20, 2011.

Q: Could you have envisioned the type of season that you are having? You are setting all-time records. Did this even seem remotely possible heading into this season?  

RG: No, not really at all. I mean, it's surreal everything that's going on. Everyone is playing well on offense and it's just clicking together as a team that everyone's putting up good numbers and everything. It's just awesome going out there, everyone's playing well: the running backs, quarterbacks, wide receivers and the tight ends. Just going out there and executing on offense and things are just happening.  

Q: What are you seeing about the emergence of this position? Cris Collinsworth made the comment the other night on television that this is the year of the tight end in the NFL. How is this position emerging so much?  

RG: It's just kind of how the offenses are getting built around now, just around the tight ends and everything. A lot of tight ends around the league are putting up great numbers and everything, so that's why I would kind of agree with him that he said, ‘It's the year of the tight end' because a lot of tight ends are scoring, a lot of tight ends are catching passes and everything. Just overall the game plans and everything I guess. I really don't know how it's going on with everything else outside of our team, but just here we're just working our game plans every week and just practicing hard. It just happens to be two tight ends in the packages a lot during games.  

Q: How fortunate do you feel to have a guy like Tom Brady and to be able to work with him during your young NFL career?  

RG: Definitely fortunate to have him. He's had so many years. It's just my second year coming into the league and he's been in the league for 12, 13 now or however many years it's been. I'm just learning so much from him, he has so much experience along with the other veteran receivers we have and all the other veteran players. They just help out so much and they teach me how to get open along with the coaches. They're all doing such a good job of teaching me how to get open, how to read the zones and everything. It's just great to have great leaders like that such as Tom on our team to help us out.  

Q: Are you seeing a difference now in almost two years in the league in the way teams are trying to defend you be it personnel, be it schemes, whatever?  

RG: A little bit. I mean, we just have so many weapons on the team that you can't really focus on one person. We've got Wes Welker, Deion Branch, Aaron Hernandez, we've got the running backs – as a whole they're all great players. It's just crazy. I mean we've seen it all before and I've seen it all. We've just got to be prepared every single week for everything so you're ready when it comes game time.  

Q: What's the mindset of the team after that win in Denver? I know for one reason or another there was a lot of national attention on that game. What have you sensed from your teammates afterwards and now a couple days later about the sense from the team?  

RG: Well, it's just like how we roll every week. If we get that ‘W' we celebrate that night and the next day and all, but now when it comes down to preparing for the next week that's all in the past. Now it's Tuesday, it's a short week, so the Broncos game that's all in the past. We had our fun with it, we were happy, but now we've got the Miami Dolphins this week, this is a big game. And we're just preparing hard. We started today and we have another big day ahead of us tomorrow.

Q: How different are the Dolphins from what you've seen on them lately compared to what they were in Week 1?  

RG: The big difference is that first I think that they went 0-8 and now they're on fire. They are just winning a lot of games now, they're in every game, their offense is looking good, their defense is looking smooth. Definitely a team that's just looking to knock someone off, looking to give [us] a loss, so we've got to go out and we have to be prepared because we know they're coming hard.  

Q: One of the other top tight ends is Jimmy Graham. He played basketball down here at the University of Miami. Are you starting to see these are the types of athletes are coming to play this position now?  

RG: Are basketball players?  

Q: Yeah.  

RG: I mean, yeah, it's rare that it happens, but when it does the player usually always turns out pretty good. I believe that the tight end position kind of has some basketball skill sets to it too, like trying to get open [from] your man and the guys on you. You can box them out, get bigger than him because you're bigger than the corner, you're bigger than the safety, so boxing them out [and] getting the ball thrown at you so he can't get around you. It kind relates to each other – jumping up and getting the ball in the air and everything just like getting a jump ball. I would definitely say it's kind of an advantage if you played basketball growing up because it translates on to the football field at tight end, so it's cool to see that and all and it helps out the game.  

Q: What's the biggest difference you have seen from this Dolphins defense over the last seven games compared to when you faced them the first time?  

RG: They're doing what they do. They're playing their defense, we're studying up obviously on it and everything, trying to learn what they've changed and everything, but they got the same players and they're all good players and they all play hard. We know that they're going to be especially playing hard this week again and trying to get the ‘W,' so we've got to be out there. We've got to be ready because we know their defense is going to be coming.  

Q: Did you play organize basketball at any level?  

RG: Yes, all the way through high school.  

Q: Do you credit that for some of your skills?  

RG: I would say so, definitely. I mean, sometimes I've got to get open and I'm boxing out the guy and everything, going up for the ball, like when Tom [Brady] throws it up in the air, you've got to go up and grab it and everything. I would definitely say growing up playing different sports, especially basketball, definitely helps you out and translates to your game on the football field.  

Q: What have you made about the play of your defense? It's taken some criticism nationally, but obviously you can't be 11-3 without big time performances on both sides of the ball.  

RG: Yes, definitely. Our defense is playing well. They just had a great game against the Broncos. We practice versus them every day and they're practicing hard, they're all working hard. You can't ask for anything else.  

Q: What are you seeing different from the Dolphins secondary from the first time you've played them?  

RG: Nothing really. They've got the same players and all. We've just got to be prepared for them and all, whatever coverage they're going to be and be prepared for all the coverages. They're all great players, so we have to definitely be ready for them all.  

Q: Did you get a chance to see the Saturday Night Live skit about Tim Tebow and your team?  

RG: No, I haven't. Is it good? I've got no comment on that.