Tight end Rob Gronkowski joined the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to discuss the Patriots’ preparations for the season and the team’s decision to have him stay on the sideline during preseason games. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
The oft-injured Gronkowski did not play in Saturday’s victory over the Saints in New Orleans, extending his streak of preseason DNPs to 11.
“It’s always up to the coach’s decision,” he said. “I’m ready to play when my number’s called, whenever they want me to go in. I mean, it is preseason, we’ve been practicing hard, we’ve been going vs. each other, we had great practices with the Saints, it’s been going well.”
Added Gronkowski on not playing in the preseason: “It is what it is. I don’t really mind that. … It’s always nice to get one [game in], but also practice is good, too. If you’re going full speed and you’re competing hard in practice, that can get you super ready, too, for Week 1.”
When he does get on the field, Gronkowski acknowledged that even though “I like the hitting, I like the smashing,” there are occasions when it’s wiser for him to avoid taking another blow to his body.
“I’m never trying to shy away from contact, but there’s definitely times where maybe you want to step out of bounds where it’s just something where you just know you’re going to get hit by three guys or you can just make a little step out of bounds and save your body from that hit,” he said, adding: “Every once in a while you can definitely step out of the way just to save a hit or two on you.”
Off the field, Gronkowski is known for his partying ways. However, when asked about his sex life, he joked that he’s got something in common with Tim Tebow. Said Gronkowski: “I’m a virgin.”
Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.
On commissioner Roger Goodell’s attempt to suspend Tom Brady for the quarterback’s alleged role in Deflategate: “I don’t know. I really don’t pay attention to what he’s doing. I’m really just focusing on what I’ve got to do during camp and what I’ve got to do to get better as a player.”
On if it’s been a distraction for Brady: “No, not at all. He comes out every single day and it’s just like any other time for the last five years I’ve been here. He comes out and practices with a purpose, to get better.”
On his need to be active: “I really can’t [stay still too long]. It’s cool to chill out, you get one day to yourself where you can just sit down, watch some movies, relax at home. But if I do that two days in a row, I mean, I start going crazy. I’ve always got to get up, go out and do something, if it’s just playing a sport out in the backyard, or if it’s just going out to work out, or if it’s going to practice or something. Yeah, I’m definitely an active guy for sure.”
On backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo: “He’s a hard-working player right now and he’s improving every single time he steps out on the field. He had a great game the other day.”