SI NOW

August 03, 2015

ROB GRONKOWSKI

The Patriots' All-Pro tight end sat down with Maggie Gray to discuss earning Tom Brady's trust and how he'll adjust if Brady's Deflategate suspension is upheld.

MAGGIE GRAY: How long did it take you to earn the respect and trust of Tom Brady?

ROB GRONKOWSKI: It took a while. You can't just walk in and automatically gain respect out there on the field as a rookie. You've got to put the work in, practice a lot, stay after practice and do extra routes.

MG: You have said that Tom was really hard on you.

RG: Yes, I felt like he was, but it was with good intentions, and he saw the potential in me. But it was good for me. It made me want to work harder and get the job done. About halfway through my rookie year [2010], we started making the connection, getting the timing going and trusting each other with the pass routes. So when everything started clicking and everything started rolling between us, he got a little nicer. We're good pals and friends now.

MG: You talk so much about building chemistry with Tom. If he has to miss any games this season, how will that affect you?

RG: I still got to do my job. I still got to do what I got to do and prepare for the games. I'll just have to get used to a new quarterback for a little bit. We'll have our practice time. We practice with everyone on the team, not just Tom, so we're somewhat used to everyone and how they play. So I just got to be ready and focus on doing what I got to do.

For more of Gronkowski's interview, plus the SI Now archive, go to SI.com/sinow

"You can't just walk in and automatically gain respect as a rookie."

—Rob Gronkowski

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PHOTOFOCUS ON SPORT/GETTY IMAGES (GRONKOWSKI) PHOTOJOEL AUERBACH/GETTY IMAGES (FISHER) PHOTORONDA CHURCHILL/AP (HAMMON) PHOTODONALD MIRALLE/GETTY IMAGES (BONDS) PHOTOIAN LANGSDON/EPA (IBRAHIMOVIC) PHOTO

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