Gronk on Brady suspension: ‘Just gotta worry about myself'


Rob Gronkowski knows that if Tom Brady is suspended to start the season, other Patriots are going to have to step up to help the team compensate. In that scenario, the All-Pro tight end will be especially important in helping Brady's replacement -- whoever it is -- get comfortable by serving as one of the game's most talented security blankets.

That's why, as the football world awaits a ruling on Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension, Gronkowski is focused on his own job and not whether or not Brady will be on the field when the Steelers visit Gillette Stadium on Sept. 10.

"Just gotta worry about myself and worry about what I gotta do to help the team the most," Gronkowski told Mike Florio on PFT Live on Tuesday. "Worry about my job. Take all the outside distractions and block them."

For the first time in a long time, Gronkowski will be able to focus on his work without concerning himself with recovering from a serious injury. In joining Florio to promote his new book "It's Good to Be Gronk," which hit stores on Tuesday, Gronkowski remembered what he's often called his "low point" after tearing his ACL during the 2013 season. 

"After the last injury definitely was the lowest point," Gronkowski said. "Laying down on the couch, couldn't walk, getting back from other surgeries and then the knee happened . . . [But eventually] I started feeling good again, keep on working, talking to other players [who said], 'You can get back, mind over matter and go to rehab every day with a purpose.' "

Gronkowski did that, was able to play in Week 1 against the Dolphins last season, and began to play as though he was at full strength a few weeks later. By the time the year had ended, he had put up staggering regular-season numbers (82 catches for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns) and helped the Patriots to their fourth Super Bowl title in 14 years. 

It's on the heels of his championship campaign that his book -- which details his youth growing up in a house filled with competitive brothers, behind-the-scenes interactions he's had with Brady and Bill Belichick since joining the Patriots, and his life off the field -- has been released.

"It's a fun-loving book," said the fun-loving 6-foot-6, 265-pounder. "It tells it straight up how it is. No BSing around. It's about how I grew up as a kid to how it is now rolling around."

In order to promote his oeuvre, Gronkowski, who's rarely shunned the spotlight, has been even more visible than usual recently. He made an appearance on Big Brother last week, and he's scheduled to star in an episode of Family Feud later this month

Gronkowski told Florio that he doesn't know what he'd like to do after football, but he's had so many off-the-field experiences since he was drafted in the second round in 2010 that he has a good idea of what may be available to him when he retires. 

"I haven't given that much of a thought," he said. "But I've been doing a lot of things off the field. Getting a feel. When it comes to that time, I'll have an idea of what I want to do."

For now, the focus is on training camp, to which he'll report with the rest of his veteran teammates on July 29. Asked if he thinks Belichick will use Deflategate as a source of motivation once players get settled in Foxboro, Gronkowski wouldn't say. 

"We stay motivated all year round," he explained. "We want to be humble every single day, first day of camp, preseason, the first game, grinding at what's ahead of us that day and do our own job."

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