Rob Gronkowski believes Tom Brady is “all-in” with the Buccaneers — as he has been during his whole career.
Brady and Gronkowski, who won three Super Bowls together with the Patriots, have helped the Buccaneers reach the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
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Gronkowski, who is set to play in all 16 regular-season games for the first time since he managed it with the Patriots in 2011, said Brady’s approach had remained unchanged.
“As a player-wise, he really hasn’t changed. From the second I first met him he’s been all-in, all-in with practices, all-in in meetings, all-in in trying to get better every single day. It has just totally continued throughout his whole career all the way up to this point,” he told a news conference Thursday.
“I wouldn’t say he’s staying after practice this much longer to get better, no, he’s been always staying out after practice, he’s been always trying to work with players every practice, whenever it is, to get better.
“I would just say that he’s just been so consistent at such a high rate throughout the time I’ve met him.”
Gronkowski came out of retirement to join Brady with the Buccaneers, who will complete their regular season against the Falcons on Sunday.
Brady was full of praise for the 31-year-old Gronkowski, with the duo in their 10th NFL season together.
“It’s been amazing. I’ve known him since he came in the league, has an incredible work ethic, tough, very unselfish player, great teammate, does whatever you ask him to do,” the quarterback said.
“I think not only just his skill set as a player because [he is] one of the few tight ends who can be a dominate blocker in the run game and in the pass protection game but then also run routes and be a dominant pass-catcher, which is very rare for any real tight end.
“I love playing with the guy, he knows how I feel about him, got a lot of trust and confidence in the biggest moments with him. Sometimes I think about players as if it is the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. Who would I want in the game with me? He definitely fits that. That just means in the biggest moments, who do you want out there, and when he can deliver like he always has, it’s a great compliment to him and the way, not only me, how I feel about him, but how all of his teammates feel about him, just an incredible player, teammate, everything, love playing with the guy.”