Rob Gronkowski talks about his brother joining the Patriots
|09.07.11 at 12:56 pm ET|
FOXBORO — When it comes to a scouting report on new Patriots tight end Dan Gronkowski, his brother Rob was straight and to the point.
‘He’s a hard worker,’ said Rob Wednesday morning, shortly after it was announced that the Patriots had signed his older brother. ‘Wherever he is, he’s just always working hard — in the weight room, on the field, off the field, studying. I know he’s just coming to be a hard worker, just get down all the plays right away and focus on his job.’
Dan Gronkowski is 6-foot-5, 255 pounds, and a veteran of two NFL seasons with the Lions (2009) and Broncos (2010). He originally entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick (255th overall) of Detroit in 2009 out of Maryland. He was traded by Detroit to Denver on Sept. 4, 2010, and was released by Denver on Sept. 3. He has played in 14 NFL games with four starts and has nine receptions for 65 yards. Last season with Denver, he played in 12 games with four starts and caught eight passes for 65 yards.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Dan’s background with former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (who was in charge in Denver the last two seasons) played more of a role in their acquisition of him as opposed to the fact that he was Rob’s brother.
‘That’s pretty coincidental. That’s not the purpose of it,’ Belichick said of the connection to his brother. ‘Dan’s done a good job in Detroit and last year in Denver, in Josh’s offense so it’s easy to see the influence on the things that are similar to what we do. We feel like he’s a good addition to our team at that position, both offensively and he’s also spent some time in the kicking game.
‘He’s been involved. When you’re a tight end, you’re going to be involved in all facets of the game. He didn’t have big receiving numbers, but he can run and catch the ball.’
Dan (who will wear No. 82) and Rob make up one-half of football-playing Gronkowski’s: brothers Chris (with Indianapolis) and youngest brother Glenn (at Kansas State) make up the other pair. Rob knows its remarkable just to have three brothers in the league at the same time, so he can appreciate what it’s like to have two of those brothers on the same team.
‘You get excited, definitely,’ he said. ‘He’s a family member. You’re grateful to have brothers in the league, but then, when it comes down to it, you have a brother on the same team, that’s awesome. It was already a dream come true that he was in the NFL at the same time, but having him on your team, it’s awesome to have someone there (who can bring) a lot more support.’
While its nice to have your brother on the same team (‘The two brothers were giving each other headlocks in the locker room yesterday,’ joked quarterback Tom Brady on Wednesday), Rob acknowledges there’s not a lot of time for fun and games between now and the start of the regular season.
‘This is definitely business — we’re here focusing on our job. We’re just focused on Miami,’ Rob said. ‘He just came in yesterday, so he has to catch up on everything, so we have to get going, get all the plays down, get the playbook going and just focus on Miami. We have no time to interact as brothers right now. We’re both just focused on the job and getting it done. It fells just like another player right now, because he’s just working hard to get down the plays.’