Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski debuted his autobiography on Tuesday, and the book tour for It’s Good To Be Gronk included a trip to PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio.
The book, which focuses on his own experiences growing up and playing football from high school to college to the NFL, doesn’t delve into the experiences of teammates or any other topics that could create issues with others. Which is a very smart move when your head coach is Bill Belichick.
For example, the book says nothing about the experiences of the other tight end drafted the same year as Gronkowski. Indeed, the name “Aaron Hernandez” doesn’t appear anywhere in the book.
Also missing from the book is any reference to #DeflateGate, directly or indirectly. The January 2015 AFC title game gets only one paragraph in the 215 pages, with nothing about the issue of football air pressure or the investigation sparked by the Colts.
So I asked Gronk on Tuesday whether #DeflateGate will be a distraction for himself or the team, especially with quarterback Tom Brady facing a four-game suspension, subject to the ruling on his appeal and possible litigation.
“Just gotta worry about myself and worry about what I gotta do to help out the team the most and worry about my job,” Gronkowski said. “Just gotta take all the outside distractions and just block them. Put a block on all that, whatever it is, whatever’s going on, and just worry what I gotta do in order to help out the team.”
The last scandal involving the Patriots — Spygate in 2007 — seemed to give the Patriots extra motivation to win and to win big, week in and week out. So how much extra motivation comes from #DeflateGate?
“We stay motivated all year around,” Gronkowski said. “We just want to be humble, we just want to go in every single day, from the first day of camp, through camp, preseason, first game, we just want to keep just grinding, just worry about what’s ahead of us that day, and just do our own job.”
There’s that phrase again: Do your job. It looks like it wasn’t just a slogan for the 2014 season, but a motto that perhaps becomes more important than ever as the Patriots prepare to try to defend their title with uncertainty still surrounding the most important position on the team.
From Gronkowski’s perspective, the ability to avoid saying anything that could get him in trouble with his coach or his team highlights the work hard/play harder mentality that comes through in his book. Still youthful and exuberant and at times over the top in his pursuit of good times when it’s time to have fun, Gronkowski values the effort necessary to achieve a high degree of success in the NFL.
For the full interview, click here and select the “Big Name Guests” option.