One look at all four teams involved in both conference title games, and four-time Super Bowl winner Rob Gronkowski can gleam at this fact: Every representative, including the Kansas City Chiefs, are reliant on strong tight end play.
“Gronk” spoke exclusively with Heavy about the upcoming Sunday, January 29 games that will decide who heads to the game the legendary tight end witnessed six times in his career — the Super Bowl.
But among the starting quartet of TEs, who does “Gronk” believe is the best period?
“You see Travis Kelce, he’s obviously the best tight end in the game,” Gronkowski said.
Then Gronkowski dove deeper into all others at his position and what they bring for their conference title games, including the tight end Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will game plan for.
“[George] Kittle I think is the best well-rounded tight end and Dallas [Goedert] is up there as one of the best well-rounded tight ends in the game…and you even have a decent tight end in Hayden Hurst with the Cincinnati Bengals as well,” Gronkowski said. “In order to win games and get deep (in the postseason), I believe you’ve got to have a pretty solid tight end. It just helps the offense out tremendously.”
Kelce’s status for Sunday, though, is in question as the Chiefs announced he’s questionable for the AFC title game with a back injury.
But again, the retired perennial Pro Bowler and longtime face of NFL tight ends loves the fact his position will carry a vital part in every offensive plan on Sunday…including the Chiefs.
“It’s just great to see all these tight ends that are in the championship games. You’ve got to have a good tight end in order to win now — and that’s what you’re seeing,” Gronkowski said.
‘Gronk’ on Preparation for Conference Title Games
Gronkowski isn’t just one who got used to playing in Super Bowls in his 11-season career. He became used to practice weeks leading up to conference championship week.
But does the emotions and intensity take on a different meaning compared to the regular season? And has each conference title week had a different approach for “Gronk?”
“It definitely amps up a little bit for sure. I would say preparation is kinda the same week in and week out,” Gronkowski said. “It’s like the regular season. You still have the six days to prepare, you’re really not going to do anything different. You kind of want to stay with the same routine that you have had all year with the preparation — how you prepare your body and how you prepare your mind and get ready for the game.”
Still, things get amplified as the week progresses as “Gronk” described.
“But you just know it’s just another amplifier — and that’s win or go home, win and go to the Super Bowl or go home and watch a Super Bowl,” Gronkowski said. “So that’s in the back of your mind and that’s an extra engine to get you rocking. When you switch that extra engine out, it gives you that extra juice to get you prepared and get you ready to go.”
‘Gronk’ With Bounty & Super Bowl Prediction
Gronkowski has partnered with Bounty to help clean up “saucy messes” during the postseason. As part of his promotional tour with Bounty, “Gronk” was dressed in the colors of the Bounty logo.
“It’s a wonderful partnership. Today I’m the Bounty man. I’m dressed in Bounty packaging with my green suit on and my white shirt. I’m looking super dapper and looking super fresh and looking super clean,” he said.
He adds that for a proper game day experience, three things are needed.
“I’m from Buffalo, so I know about game day rituals. You need three things: You need wings, football and Bounty. Those are the three essentials you need on gameday. And you can’t have football without wings, and you can’t wings without Bounty,” Gronkowski said.
Finally, does he believe the big game will see the Chiefs for the third time in the last four seasons?
“I think the San Francisco 49ers are going to pull it off. Their defense is just so sound and Nick Bosa is just rattling quarterbacks left and right. I think they’re going to pull it off. And then I think the Bengals are going to pull it off again,” Gronkowski said. “They’ve been in this position last year, they’re experienced and they know what it takes and I think it’s going to be the Bengals versus the 49ers in the Super Bowl this year.”