Bucs tight end Rob Gronkowski discussed playing his former team, the Patriots, in New England in Week 4 of the 2021 regular season. Fresh off setting a Guinness world record for his 600-foot catch, Gronkowski sat down for an interview with Buccaneers.com’s Casey Phillips to discuss his return to New England on Sunday Night Football among other topics.
“That’s going to be pretty crazy,” Gronkowski said. “That’s going to be pretty epic. It’s definitely going to be emotional for sure I would say. You know I just had a great nine years. Probably the best nine years of my life. It was basically the beginning of my whole football career there. It’s definitely going to be heartfelt when I go back. I’ve just got to be prepared for that game for sure. I’ve got to be prepared for every game – but especially that one. It’s never going to be easy. It’s going to be tough. But it’s going to be a good one. It’s going to be different.”
Former Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski – Photo by: USA Today
Gronkowski, who was drafted by the Patriots in 2010, caught 521 passes for 7,861 yards (15.1 avg.) and 79 touchdowns in nine seasons in New England. He briefly retired during the 2019 season, but came out of retirement in 2020 when Tom Brady left the Patriots for the Bucs in free agency. Tampa Bay traded for Gronkowski’s rights and he helped the Bucs win Super Bowl LV in his first season in red and pewter.
The future Hall of Famer caught 45 passes for 623 yards (13.8 avg.) and seven TDs during the regular season. Gronkowski added eight receptions for 110 yards in the postseason, and had two scores in Super Bowl LV. He talked about the team’s efforts to repeat as Super Bowl champions with Phillips.
“It’s nice now that we’ve had a year under our belt,” Gronkowski said. “I felt like our offense started clicking more at the end of the year. We all started to get the feel of each other. The chemistry was building up throughout the year, but it’s going to be great. We’ve got everybody back on the offensive side of the ball and the defensive side, too. It’s incredible. If we can just keep building and keep on stacking days, if we can keep on getting better – just as a unit. But we know that it’s not easy to do that. We also know that if we keep putting the work in and keep stacking days that we can keep on improving week in and week out.
“It’s pretty exciting because usually with Super Bowl teams they lose a lot of guys. They go get paid in free agency and stuff. It’s just the natural habit of the NFL – of a Super Bowl-winning team. But this is the first time in Super Bowl history where the team has returned every starter plus like basically everyone else. So that just shows how excited everyone was to win the Super Bowl and how much excitement there is around this organization. It’s just going to be thrilling to keep on building our team.”
Click on the video below to watch the full Gronkowski interview.
Scott Reynolds is in his 27th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive coordinator/defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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