It’s no secret the New England Patriots do things a little differently than the rest of the NFL. On Wednesday’s episode of The Shop: Uninterrupted, former Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski provided insight into what makes the organization so different.
Speaking amongst a panel including Lil Nas X, Kevin Hart, and Kevin Love, Gronkowski touched on several topics like the Patriots’ treatment of star players and his retirement.
Here’s what he had to say:
I believe that’s where mental toughness comes through. With Coach Belichick, a lot of his program is based on mental toughness. It is almost a sign of weakness to say ‘I dont feel good, you take the hits today.’ You just can’t do that.
Gronk was one of the toughest players on the Patriots over the last decade, frequently playing through injuries, including his final season.
A Different Breed
Gronkowski expanded on why the Patriots are successful, describing how there was no special treatment for anyone on the team, Tom Brady included.
“You’re not treated like a super-duper star,” said Gronk. “Not even Brady, not one single bit.”
Gronk was asked to confirm a rumor whether Belichick would ignore players if they walked past him without saying anything and shared this story:
With Tom Brady in the facilty and him and Bill walk past each other, if you don’t talk to Bill he won’t talk to you. If it happened outside in public, of course, he would stop. But I walk past him several times a day and he usually doesn’t say anything. It’s just complete focus.
Kevin Hart attested to this rumor when he visited the Patriots locker room, saying “I saw Bill in the locker room and said ‘Hey Bill, what’s up?’ and he didn’t speak or shake my hand.”
Gronkowski also talked about why Tom Brady has become the greatest at his craft.
“Tom wants it to be done a certain way because he’s at that certain level,” Gronk said.
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The tight end dove deeper into his decision to announce his retirement from the NFL. He was asked by the panel how he knew it was the right time.
It was actually about two years ago. I tried to go out to practice every summer and I was getting smoked by rookies. I felt like I had to get away from the game to focus on life. I was eating [expletive], going out and partying.
When Gronkowski spoke about his next chapter, partnering with CBD Medic, last week, he talked about a play in Super Bowl LIII, a routine yet hard blow to the quad that left him crying in bed that night and forced him to get a liter of blood drained from his leg.
Gronkowski certainly garnered a reputation as a partyer throughout his career. Whether it was his family party bus or his nights out in Las Vegas with a broken arm, there’s plenty of wild stories to go around.
Gronkowski and comedian Kevin Hart shared a moment on the show talking about a couple times the two partied together, including the tight end getting rapper Rick Ross drunk.
Kevin Hart explained a time in Atlantic City when he saw Gronk partying. “I was watching in complete awe,” said Hart, “and I thought ‘there’s no way he’s going to play Sunday.'”