EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 02: Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots carries a reception into the endzone past Antrel Rolle of the New York Giants for a first quarter touchdown on September 2, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Rob Gronkowski is a one-of-a-kind person and player, and the New England Patriots have had very few like him in the past. For the most part, Bill Belichick expects his team to keep a low profile and stay out of the public spotlight — even during the offseason. Gronk has no interest in doing that, and former Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest feels that it is time for the team to speak to him about it.
“This kid’s had a lot of success at an early age,” McGinest said, via Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. “He’s probably one of the best tight ends in the league. But he seems to be wired a little different. He did it at the party after they lost (last year’s) Super Bowl to the Giants where it was kind of the same thing.
“Certain people handle things differently. But the pile-driving, that wrestling move could have been dangerous to him … I don’t think he should be out doing wrestling moves. It doesn’t make sense especially if you’re in a cast still healing. He’s a vital part of that offense; they need him. They’re paying him a lot of money. He can’t put himself in certain situations where he can possibly hurt himself. He has to be careful. He has to be smarter than that.”
McGinest is referring to this video, which captured Gronk wrestling on stage with his brother in Las Vegas despite wearing a cast on his surgically-repaired arm. Last year, he was dancing like a maniac on his badly sprained ankle, which later required surgery, after New England’s Super Bowl loss. McGinest said one of the team’s veterans needs to step up and tell Gronkowski to tone it down.
“The only guy on that offense that could probably say anything is Tom,” he said. “He has the years in. Or maybe Wes (Welker). It has to be guys (Gronkowski is) around all the time. I don’t really know the dynamics of that team. Our defense and offense all coincided together. It didn’t matter who was talking. But a lot of their guys are young. Gronk’s young. It would have to be an elder statesman like Vince (Wilfork) or Tom (to speak up). Someone who’s been there for a while. But Tom might be the one. I’m sure someone will have a word with him.”
Gronkowski loves having fun, and maybe a little too much at times. However, the team has almost certainly already spoken to him about his behavior — several times. Last year, the team reportedly told him that the “Summer of Gronk” was over once the season was just around the corner. The Patriots know how Gronk is, yet they still chose to sign him to a massive contract. At this point, what you see is likely what you get.
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