PATRIOTS TIGHT END ROB GRONKOWSKI
Q: Bill Belichick talked about how Kansas City's defense can get off the field on third down and get turnovers. How do you guys make sure you keep these drives going like you did against the Colts?
RG: Oh, third down's crucial. It's a big part of the game. It's a big part of the offense and to keep moving the ball, keep moving the chains, you've got to convert on third down and you've got to execute. If it's short yardage, if it's third and long, third and medium, whatever it is, you've got to keep the ball moving. You've got to move the chains.
Q: Jason Witten on Monday Night Football called Travis Kelce the best tight end in the league and Patrick Mahomes said the same today. Any response to that? And interestingly, you and Kelce are the same age.
RG: Oh, I didn't even know we were the same age. That's pretty nuts actually. But I just try to be the best I can be every single week, do my job every single week. The rankings and all that, the comparisons, all that, I'll just leave that up to you guys, whatever you guys say. But I just try to do my best. I think he's a great player and I've just got to worry about what I can do to help out the team.
Q: It's only Week 6 but do the stakes seem higher with this game?
RG: I mean, we're playing the Kansas City Chiefs and that's all our focus. We're not really focusing on the stakes out there, what it's going to mean if we win or lose this game down in the future. I mean, you can't really control that. What you can control is that we're playing the Kansas City Chiefs this week and it's a big Sunday Night Football game, it's the biggest game of the year for us, so we've got to be ready and we've got to be ready for our opponent.
Q: How often do you watch fellow tight ends around the league and with Travis Kelce in particular? Have you ever watched his game and seen something you can apply to your own?
RG: Oh, yeah I've definitely seen him play before. I've seen many other tight ends play before in the league and he's quick, he's shifty, which is very crucial to have. He knows how to get separation and get away from the defender. So he's a great player. I like watching him play too when I get a chance.
Q: Does it almost feel like he plays a different position and is more like a big wide receiver? You're a pass-catcher too but we see you do a lot in the blocking game, I don't know if he's as active in that area.
RG: I mean, you can look for yourself. I think he's a great player and can definitely learn from guys like that and just his shiftiness is nice.
Q: What goes through your head with James White having so many receptions so far?
RG: He's got to start sharing. No, it's well-deserved. The way that he focuses on his detail, on the route, the way he knows how to get open and just the little tiny details he knows how to do exactly on point to get open. He's just a great player and he does it week in and week out, one practice to the next practice. He's a great example for our team, he's a great player and he just deserves everything he's been getting.
Q: With the rule changes, has it gotten easier to play over the middle of the field on offense?
RG: Oh, it's been the same. I mean, you can still smash me in the field. I would say that the defender just has to be more wary about the contact, where the area is. But you can still go up the middle, still get smashed so I won't say that changed the game at all in that part.
Q: Do you know Travis Kelce personally?
RG: No, not like that. I mean, I've met him a few times but I don't know him like that.
Q: Where did you guys meet up?
RG: Oh, you know just some NFL events around the Super Bowls and stuff like that.
Q: At the end of last season you said your body felt bad. Now we're six games into the season. How is your body feeling?
RG: I feel good, feel good, be ready to play Sunday night.
Q: What do you think about what's going on with the Red Sox?
RG: With the Red Sox? What's going on, they won it. I mean, they won the first round that they needed to. I don't get the chance to really catch it all, see a couple innings here and there but it's just spectacular how they're playing just together as a team and putting up the runs they need and just cool to see them just keep succeeding the way they're doing.
Q: On Sunday night, the Patriots game is going up against the Red Sox game. What advice do you have for Boston sports fans?
RG: I mean, that's pretty nuts. But you know Boston sports fans, they're going to have two TVs. The Red Sox game right there and the Patriots game right there and you know, probably halftime of our game, the Red Sox game will be up or something. You've got to give them credit. Our fans, those Boston fans, New England fans, they're die-hard fans. Not just for football but for every sport around here. So you know they'll find a way to watch both.
Q: Did you watch a lot of tight ends when you were younger and model yourself after anyone?
RG: I'm not going to sit here and say I watched these tight ends like that and went through a whole detailed description of them. But no, I just watched tight ends when the game was on and everything. I never pulled up anyone like in detail. I've always listened to my coaches, the guys around me and definitely we've pulled up plays before in my life through college, high school and now in the NFL of other tight ends doing some plays the right way and gaining information from them.
Q: There's been talk about the explosive offense of the Chiefs. Is there an added pressure for you guys on offense because you know you're going to have to score a lot of points to win?
RG: As an offense, we always want to go out there and we always want to put up points. That's our job, that's our mission every week and however the game goes, we're just trying to put up as many points as we possibly can and we'll see how it plays out Sunday. But as an offense, we're trying to score every single time we have the ball.
Q: Does it feel weird you haven't scored a touchdown in four straight games?
RG: No, we're winning. We've won the last two. I've got to pick it up. I've got to start scoring.
Q: Considering the incentives added to your contract are tied to touchdowns and receptions, are you mindful of that when you have a dry spell?
RG: No, I've got to keep doing what I've been doing. Just get back to the basics, just get back out and keep playing football. That's the last thing I'm worried about. The first thing I'm worried about is just doing my job and doing the best I can do to help out the team.
Transcripts are provided by the Patriots media relations department as a courtesy to the media and are edited for readability. All press conferences are posted and archived in their entirety at patriots.com.