Rob Gronkowski Hints That Playing For The Patriots And Coach Bill Belichick Was Not All That Fun
Much like me when it comes to wanting to finally get out of self-isolation, it appears that perhaps NFL players are finally wanting to get out of New England.
A few weeks back, five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Wes Welker, who led the NFL in receptions in three of the six years he played for the Patriots, basically admitted that he was relieved when he left New England for Denver because playing football under head coach Bill Belichick wasn’t as much fun as it should be in his mind.
Now with Rob Gronkowski, after taking a year off from playing for the Patriots, joining Tom Brady in his exodus from New England, one has to wonder if Belichick’s success using a heavy-handed, my way or the highway approach is nearing its bitter end.
Based on what Welker had to say, along with what Gronk told the media on Wednesday, it might be.
“It just happened to be the right opportunity, I feel like, down in Tampa,” said Gronkowski. “Yes, Tom is like the appetizer of the whole meal. He got me hooked when he went down to Tampa. I saw what was down there, just the opportunity to go down there and play with that type of offense.”
When asked if he would still have come back out of retirement if Brady had stayed in New England, Gronk wasn’t quite as definitive in his answer.
“It would definitely have been an opportunity I would have looked at for sure because playing for Tom is special,” he replied. “He’s one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. To build a connection with a quarterback, too, is something special.”
Gronkowski also admitted when asked if one of the reasons he took a year off and then decided to come back and play for the Buccaneers rather than New England was because he playing for Belichick wore on him.
“You know, coach says it all the time, man,” Gronkowski replied. “He always says it that it’s not an easy place to play. I’m very thankful for the nine years I had with the New England Patriots. Hands down, I learned so much under that organization. I’ve learned so much football from the best coach, hands down. That will not change, the best coach in all of football, coach Belichick. I’ve learned more football than I ever have in my whole entire life under coach Belichick and just learning so much under just the organization of Mr. Kraft, too. There’s two guys I looked up to and will always look up to. They’re the ones who drafted me and gave me my first opportunities ever in the NFL, and I’m very thankful for those opportunities.
“And I’m not going to sit here and say it’s the easiest organization to play for,” Gronk continued. “And I’ve also never played for another organization. I haven’t even been down to Tampa yet, so I’m not even sure what to expect. But I know that the New England Patriots, hands down, it is not the easiest place to play, but it gets you right. It gets you mentally right. It gets you physically right. What I’ve learned there I’m definitely going to take it with me with my future and whatever I have present to this day I’m definitely gonna take what I’ve learned in the New England Patriots organization under the coach Belichick Mr. Kraft and everyone there and apply it to to my daily life big time.”