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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Thu Aug 06 | 02:00 PM - 11:59 PM

Rob Gronkowski Conference Call Transcript 11/4

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Q: How did this party cruise thing come about?

RG:It just came from Norwegian Cruise Line. I just hit up my marketing people down there, and they just came together with it and just brought up the presentation towards us over the summer in the offseason. But they just worked on it all. They do it all, and I just get to focus on football right now.

Q: It seems like it will be a fun time.

RG:Yeah, it'll definitely be a good time. I have all my friends, my family, my brothers all going, so it'll definitely be a good time – for sure.

Q: In what area do you feel you've grown the most since you were drafted?

RG:The biggest growth and development is just learning the game of football, just getting used to the speed, going out every single day at practice and just getting the feel for the game. Just when you first step out there as a rookie, everything is going full speed – the play call in the huddle, the lining up. You feel like everything is so quick, but throughout the years everything slows down. You understand the game more. You understand the position, how to use your body, how to get open, how to block, everything, so just developing overall as a player and just learning the game a lot more.

Q: What area do you take the most pride in?

RG:Since then, I would just say just the understanding of football and the development of the playbook. When I first got here, I definitely wouldn't deny it. I definitely had a little struggle going, didn't know the whole playbook, just throughout that, learning it and kept on going out to practice definitely helped me out and developed me as a player.

Q: Have you seen any film of Jordan Reed? What do you think of him?

RG:Yes, I have. He's a savvy young tight end. He definitely, he's a good player. He goes out there and plays hard and is out there to make plays.

Q: What do you think it says about the tight end position that both of these teams' top options seem to be tight ends?

RG:It's great to see that. It's great to see other teams using tight ends a lot. It's good for the game. It's great for the position I play. I think it's great to see other guys succeeding big time at that position. It definitely helps out, but it's great. Playing tight end is not easy. You've got to block. You've got to go out there, you've got to know all the receiving routes, so it's just great to see the guys being successful and being huge impacts at that position.

Q: How much more difficult has the tight end job become now that the position has evolved over the last few years?

RG:I love that I have the option to split out wide. Having a player like that definitely brings mismatches to the defense and helps the defense struggle more trying to get lined up, but definitely you've got to bring development to the player, too. You've got to know more about the playbook. You've got to know more positions in order to go out wide, but you've just got to take your time in practice, study film, go all out at practice, work hard and always be focused.

Q: How much has Dion Lewis helped take the pressure off you and the other receivers?

RG:Big time, having Dion Lewis is great. We've got many great players on our team, but Dion, he can make guys miss out on the field at any time. His elusiveness is just unbelievable, and how quick he is just brings another perspective to our offense.

Q: What have you seen from the Redskins defense in the secondary?

RG:Yes, they're a tough team, tough secondary. They've got a top D-line and they come out and they compete. Their defense is ready for anything. They've got answers to any lineup. They can cover if it's man or zone, and they're always bringing it, which is great because you can tell they love to compete as a defense. So going out and competing against a defense that's coming out ready to play, it's going to be fun.

Q: What does it feel like as a tight end every week when you don't know how another team is going to scheme you?

RG:You've just got to study and prepare all week. You never know what you're going to get. You just want to study, practice, watch film, go against looks all week so that you're prepared for anything when it comes Sunday. So you've got to study their film, see what they do, but also you've got to be ready for anything. You've got to study all the players. You never know who you're going to get matched up against, so I'm just going to prepare all week, focus all week, so when Sunday comes, you're ready for anything.

Q: Is it any different for you because teams will most likely treat you differently from other tight ends you see on film?

RG:Yeah, I mean that happens sometimes. I've definitely seen that where they switch it up, but the majority of the time all year, watching a team, how they're covering a tight end, usually it is the same when we play them. It's the same coverage. So hopefully, I mean that's the same. Just study the Redskins defense, see who they match up against the tight end and stuff, study that, prepare for that, get used to that, but also be ready for anything else.

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