Thanks to Josh McDaniels, Dan Gronkowski already knows ‘Patriots Way’
|09.09.11 at 2:21 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Dan Gronkowski says he’s ready to show he’s not just Rob Gronkowski‘s older brother.
The Patriots picked up the 26-year-old tight end off waivers from Denver on Tuesday and added him officially to the roster on Wednesday, giving him a chance to team with Rob and giving the Patriots another big tight end on the edge to help in the run-blocking game and another big body in the kicking game.
“There’s no celebrating or anything right now,” Gronkowski said in his first formal session with the New England media on Friday at Gillette Stadium. “It’s all business. It’s not like I came in the offseason where I could have some fun or something with him. It’s just straight business and all we’re thinking about is football.
“It’s been all business right now. Everything we’ve done is talking football and getting ready for this game.”
There was lots of joking and kidding last week when Aaron Hernandez made reference to Rob Gronkowski doing all the talking in the tight ends’ meetings with coach Brian Ferentz. There was light-hearted speculation that the two “Gronks” would be dominating those meetings now – that is until Bill Belichick Wednesday offered a subtle reminder that both brothers better keep their focus on football during those meetings.
Still, Wes Welker chose Friday to take a nice little jab at his 22-year-old teammate just two locker stalls down, while giving props to older brother Dan.
“I thought it was going to be very interesting, like I was going to have two idiots right next to me on both sides but the other one is actually pretty bright. I was actually surprised,” Welker said, unable to keep a straight face.
For the record, Dan Gronkowski is on the other side of partition from Welker while Rob is two stalls down on the other side.
Gronkowski played for former Broncos head coach and one-time Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. So, as he indicated on Friday, he is very familiar with the “Patriots Way” on and off the field.
“I was with Josh McDaniels so I kind of know everything going on around here. The meetings are the exact same. I know what it means. They want you to work hard, put in the time, they want you to go out there and play good. Yeah, I’m definitely used to it. I’ve been fitting in pretty good.”
Dan, who was more of a blocking tight end for the Broncos, said that – at 6-foot-5 – he can bring a lot of what brother Rob does to the tight end position.
“I think I’m very similar to my brother in what I can bring,” Gronkowski said. “All around, can do a lot of stuff. Hopefully, I can fit right into the offense, which I’m very familiar with.
“I’ve played a lot of special teams last year. Hopefully, I can get out there this game or in the near future and add to that, also.”
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