Some teams around the league have gathered for informal workouts, but the Patriots aren’t one of them. Tight end Rob Gronkowski says such workouts aren’t currently in the plans. For now, the Patriots are left to their own devices.
“A lot of guys work hard on the Patriots,” explained Gronkowski. “Everyone is probably doing something, but we haven’t organized things right now.”
Gronkowski has been working out at Bommarito Performance Systems in Florida, where Wes Welker and several defensive teammates are doing the same, and he expects more to show up next week. Defensive captain Jerod Mayo said he would call the team together at some point, Gronkowski doesn’t see it as any disadvantage the Patriots aren’t holding organized workouts.
“Every team is different,” he said. “It’s a lockout. Everyone is in the same boat anyways, so I know I’m going to be working hard, and if I get a call from someone on the offense who wants to throw, no problem. But I’ll be doing it (anyways), no matter what.”
Since there’s only so much football to chat about during a lockout, we took the conversation to a more positive place. Here’s parts of a Q&A with Gronkowski:
FT: Let’s start out with a layup. Who plays you in a movie?
RG: Dolph Lundgren. Ivan Drago! Everyone says I look just like him.
FT: People are probably wondering: Is there a Gronk Nation?
RG: Yo, Gronknation.com! That’s my website with my brothers. We’re all over the nation with three different teams and my youngest brother at Kansas State. That’s what’s up!
FT: Wow, I totally stepped into that one. OK, finish this sentence: During my rookie year, I learned …
RG: A whole new playbook (laughing).
FT: Why, is Bill Belichick’s playbook pretty thick?
RG: That’s for sure.
FT: Who is the guy you least want to see across the line of scrimmage?
RG: The dude from “The Longest Yard.” The one who gets out of jail and walks out and starts hitting the wall with his fists.
FT: That kind of came out of left field. I was thinking along the lines of DeMarcus Ware …
RG: Nah. It’s more fun when it’s not someone in the NFL.
FT: Plus you’re not trying to make enemies …
RG: Yep, that’s why I’m not naming names.
FT: Tell me there’s some trash talk going on in the Patriots’ locker room at the expense of Rex Ryan?
RG: You can answer that question yourself! Maybe for fun … the same way they’re probably doing to us.
FT: What did your older brother, Lions TE Dan Gronkowski, tell you about playing in the NFL?
RG: Basically, to just be ready to study, be prepared, be in shape and, most importantly, study the playbook.
FT: This isn’t a question, but you had to know at some point the conversation would turn to Tom Brady.
RG: Oh, yeah. That always happens.
FT: Tell us something no one knows about Brady.
RG: That he studies film all the way home on the plane ride home from games.
FT: Have you been over to his house for dinner?
RG: Still waiting for that invite.
FT: Um, lunch?
RG: Nope. Or breakfast. I’m holding out for three full meals.
FT: What kind of leader is Brady?
RG: He’s a big-time leader, every practice and every game. He‘s out there getting everyone fired up. He never slacks. Never.
FT: Anything surprise you about him?
RG: Just how hard of a worker he is. I’ve never seen that before out of a quarterback. It’s crazy how hard he works and how serious he is on the field. He’s a vocal leader and a leader by example.
FT: You had the most memorable on-stage draft celebration – probably the only one ever – last year. Would you do it again?
RG: Yeah, but I would make it even better (laughing).
FT: With or without the helmet?
RG: Well, they were only handing out helmets to second-round picks. I would have put the jersey on if they had given one to me. But they gave me a helmet, so I thought, “This is going on.”
FT: And your teammates said what about that?
RG: They said it was pretty sweet.
FT: What about being a rookie was tougher than you thought?
RG: Everything. The speed of the game. At Arizona, I learned the playbook quickly, but this one took forever. I thought it was going to be easier. It was difficult.
FT: What’s on the iPod?
RG: I don’t even have an iPod. I would never listen to it. When I work out, the music is always on the speakers, blasting.
FT: OK, so what’s on in the Patriots weight room? Do they let rookies pick?
RG: NOT AT ALL. They put on the worst kind of music ever when the rookies work out.
FT: They intentionally pick bad music?
RG: They put on slow jams, stuff from the 1980s. Even older, one song is “Big Bad John” (by Jimmy Dean) and the worst stuff they can find. That’s how it goes. The strength coaches are behind it.