BUFFALO -- Rob Gronkowski acted like a kid who knew he did something wrong, but at the same time felt there was at least a sliver of justification in his actions.
The Patriots’ all-world tight end channeled his inner-WWE past -- and, potentially, his future -- by dropping a forearm shiver/elbow drop on the head of Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White late in the Pats’ 23-3 victory over Buffalo. White, who had intercepted a Tom Brady toss intended for Gronkowski, immediately left the game and is being evaluated for a concussion. Meanwhile, Gronk got flagged but not ejected for the cheap shot.
PATRIOTS 23, BILLS 3
“First of all, I defintely want to apologize to number 27,” said Gronkowski. “I’m not in the business of that. There was a lot of frustration. I was just really frustrated at that moment and it just happened naturally through emotions and frustrations. I just want to apologize to Tre'Davious White. I don’t really believe in any types of shots like that but just through the frustration process -- the game of football -- emotions, (it's) what happened.”
Apologies aside, Gronk made it clear that he felt the officials had a tough day. On that route alone, he felt as if he was interfered or held three or four times and yet the refs neglected to throw a flag.
New England Patriots
“At the top of the route I felt like it was big held,” he said when asked why he was so agitated by the play. “Then the throw -- there was definitely I feel like he kinda pushed me a little bit and made the play. I just don’t understand why there wasn’t a flag.”
It wasn’t just there on that play. Gronk told me after his brief media scrum that he couldn’t fathom either the offensive pass interference he got hit with early in the game or the holding call late. He claimed defensive end Jerry Hughes went so far as to tell him that last call was idiotic.
“There was a couple of times during the game they’re calling me for the craziest stuff ever,” said Gronkowski “It was just crazy. Like, what am I suppose to do? And then they don’t call [the play by White]? It was just frustration and that’s what happened.”
This has been a common theme with the Pats’ nearly uncoverable tight end, who tortured the Bills once again with 9 catches in 11 targets for 147 yards. The team and the player both feel there are two sets of rules -- one from Gronk, one for everyone else.
Publicly, Gronk wouldn’t address it,
“I don’t know, he said, “I just gotta keep playing hard.”
But, when pressed, he did add that this frustration hasn’t been a result of the last couple of games, or even the last couple of years.
“Over the past seven years,” he exclaimed.
Gronkowski said he doesn’t fear a suspension, as he has no past history with the league office. But he did admit that type of behavior can’t happen again.
“That definitely could hurt the team,” he acknowledged. “Obviously it didn’t hurt the team there [today] but it definitely could in the future. I gotta keep my cool.”