Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski asks just one thing of officials — consistency. He had his first offensive pass interference penalty of the season in what coach Bill Belichick described as a “tough call.”
“If the consistency was there 100 percent, then I’d be cool with whatever it is,” Gronkowski said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN. “One week, we’re told we can play, it really isn’t going to be called, they can hold and you can slap off their hands. Then the next week, if you touch the guy, it’s a PI. I just wish I knew the consistency, so I can base my game off and practice and be prepared for the game and know the rules going in from week to week.”
The topic first gained traction with Gronkowski in 2015 when officials flagged him twice in a game against Denver. Belichick noted Gronkowski has made a conscious effort in recent years to avoid offensive pass interference penalties.
“Rob and I have talked about that situation,” Belichick said Monday on sports radio WEEI. “I think he really tries to do what is legal and tries not to put himself in a situation where they can call him. He doesn’t push off. He doesn’t try to create space. He tries to defend himself, and that is what he’s taught to do.”
The Patriots discuss the tendencies of the officiating crew each week, which Gronkowski calls “super helpful.”
Gronkowski also complimented officials and said he understands the difficulty of their job.