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Rob Gronkowski Transcript - 7/27/2012

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski addresses the media during his interview at Gillette Stadium on Friday, July 27, 2012.


Q:You're finally back out there now, how does the ankle feel getting some real reps at practice?

RG: It's feeling good. It's great to get out there. You don't want to be in the training room. [I'm] just focusing every day, taking it day by day, obviously doing everything I possibly can out there, having a great time competing, being out there with the offense again, going against the defense, having a blast so far and just looking forward to every single day.

Q:Some guys go through injuries and they get nervous because they don't want to re-injure it again. Has that been in your head the past few days?

RG: The surgery was awhile ago and that's when you take everything slow. There's definitely no hurrying. That's what the whole offseason was for – to get right, get healthy. The trainers did a great job, I worked with them a lot. I just took it week by week, day by day and I'm out there practicing right now. Everything is going well and I'm just having a blast out there working hard every day and getting better.

Q:You had a busy offseason. Is it hard to get focused when training camp comes around?

RG: It's training camp time. When it's football time, it's all football, nothing but football. I'm always excited for football and I'm glad to be back. I missed the locker room, missed the teammates, missed competing versus the defense. So far the last two days, [we're] having a lot of fun out there competing as hard as we can. Everyone is getting better. [I'm] just focusing on my job and that's all I care about – my job out on the football field.

Q:Are you 100 percent?

RG: I'm out there every day. What does it look like? I'm going pretty hard. I'm going hard.

Q:Mentally you don't think about it at all?

RG: Mentally I'm out there. What I'm mentally preparing is my plays every single day, getting out there, trying to get better. Getting out there, making sure I do the right things. I'm not trying to think of anything else besides getting right, getting my play down, getting my route down, getting my blocking assignment down and just getting better.

Q:So you're not thinking about it at all?

RG: It's good. You saw me out there. I'm doing well. Every day, just take it day by day. I'm out there going full right now. You guys can judge yourself.

Q:How disappointing was it last year in the Super Bowl to not be able to go full throttle?

RG: This is training camp now. This is 2012 we're in – new season. [I'm] just trying to get better – that's all I care about, looking forward. All I care about is tomorrow now, is trying to get better tomorrow. [I'm] not looking in the past at all and I'm trying to get better this whole camp.

Q:You had a wild summer. Recently some photos of Tom Brady cliff diving came out. What do you think of Tom Brady cliff diving?

RG: I didn't even know about that. It's Tom – he can do what he wants to do and you can ask him about it. I didn't even know about it. I'm just focused here in training camp now. I'm just football, football, football, that's all.

Q:Would you do it yourself?

RG: I did it when I was like 12 years old, yeah. Not anymore, no.

Q:Has anybody on the coaching staff talked to you about anything that happened in the offseason in terms of needing to tone it down?

RG: You can ask the coaches that. It is football time now. That's all I'm worried about is football, football, football and getting better on the field every day. All I focus on is football. I love the game – that's my number one passion.

Q:But the coaches would have talked to you so if we were asking you, what would your answer be?

RG: Talk to the coaches.

Q:Coming off an injury pretty successfully, how much of your game would you say is mental as opposed to physical?

RG: It all starts with your mental aspect of the game. Obviously, if you go out there and you don't know the plays, right there you don't know what you're doing out there. You're thinking, you can't do what you physically want to do. It all starts in the study game, all in the playbook – knowing your plays, knowing your routes, knowing your blocking assignments where you just have them down mentally so right when you go out on the field you can just perform how you perform without thinking what to do out on the field. It all starts in the office. It all starts studying the playbook. That's where it begins so you can get out there and just do what you need to do.

Q:How different is this offense with Josh McDaniels?

RG: McDaniels is a great coach. Whatever he puts out, that's what I'm going to do. Whatever he tells me to do, I'm going to do it and I'm going to perform what Coach McDaniels wants me to, whatever he puts out. [He's a] great coach, love playing for him. [I'm] having a great time out here with him.

Q:Looking back, was this injury a serious injury to you? You didn't really talk about it much at the time.

RG: I think all surgeries are serious. If it's minor, if it's major – it's a surgery. You just have to rehab it; you have to do the right thing for it. You have to take day by day, week by week and make sure you're doing the right things with the trainers. I believe we did that; did a great job. Now I'm out here practicing, going full go and having a great time.

Q:How excited were you to sign that contract that keeps you here potentially for a very long time?

RG: That was about two months ago. I'm in training camp now. I'm just here to play football, that's all. I'm not thinking about anything else.

Q:The 'Summer of Gronk' is over?

RG: I'm just here to play some football, baby.

Q:Is it reassuring to know you're going to be here for like the next eight years?

RG: I'm just taking it day by day. You never know what goes on in the NFL; you see a lot of things happen. I'm just taking it day by day – I'm just trying to listen to the coaches and get better. I can definitely work on some things. The last two days I feel like I'm rusty a little bit. Seeing some competition, since I didn't go during the summer, now I get to see all the defenses again. That's all I'm worried about is getting better, seeing the defenses, reading coverages and everything and going out there and getting open.

Q:You broke a lot of records last year. How are you better now than you were six months ago?

RG: I'm not saying that I am; I'm not saying that I'm not. You just have to work hard; you just have to keep on improving on your weaknesses. You have to keep on going hard in practice. You have to see what you did wrong on film last year and try to improve what you were doing wrong and try to make it better – try to get open on linebackers, on safeties, on the times that you got covered. See what you can do, where you can shake, where you can be more physical and everything. You just want to keep on working on your weaknesses and keep going back where I didn't do well and make it stronger.

Q:Where were your weaknesses? You're coming off a year where you did a lot of things right?

RG: I look at my whole game sometimes like a weakness. You're not going to get open every time and you want to know why you didn't get open every time. You can make a lot of good plays but there's also times when you didn't get open and blocks too – where I didn't get the blocks down. I just go back, see why I didn't do it and just focus on being consistent every single time – make sure I get the block or get open, just working on it every time.

Q:When a young player like yourself goes through the season that you just had, you can go from relative obscurity to a lot of national attention. You saw that when the whole country wanted to know how your ankle surgery went. How have you handled that transition from being able to fly under the radar a little bit to now having this much media around you?

RG: You just have to do what you've been doing since day one. Since day one, that's what got me to where I am now. It's just working hard, listening to the coaches, just doing what you have to do, going out there, competing as hard as you can, going out there and learning your playbook and just keep on doing what I've been doing since day one and that's what I just said.

Q:Is it strange though?

RG: Sure, yeah. It's strange a little bit. But if you're just doing what you're doing from day one, you don't really worry about it.

Q:After the whole 'Summer of Gronk', do you have something that was most memorable to you?

RG: Yeah, how hard I trained – how much I ran, how much I studied, everything like that.

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