On one hand, this is unsurprising: what coach wants to bash his star player? But at the same time, Gronkowski's party-hard, goofball persona off the field makes the contrast in Belichick's comments noteworthy. The longtime Patriots coach said Gronkowski was “probably underrated” in the leadership department.
“He doesn't really sometimes come across in that role, but what I see, Rob's very attentive, very coachable,” Belichick said, as reported by WEEI's Christopher Price. “You tell him what you want him to do, he works very hard to do it the way you want it done.”
Belichick also praised Gronkowski's on-field intelligence and ability to play different positions within the Patriots' scheme, both as a receiver and a blocker.
“His work ethic, his ability to work with his teammates, whether it's the quarterback, the offensive tackles, the other tight ends or even with the defensive players is good,” Belichick added. “He's really a great guy to have on the team. Forget about the talent and all that. Just the way he goes about his job, the way he works, trains in the weight room, his physical conditioning, his mental concentration and focus and desire to be well and do well and improve are very, very good.”
In two games, Gronkowski has 12 receptions for 207 yards and four touchdowns.
- Jeremy Woo