A damn good thing.
Second-year standouts Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez have a combined 1,344 yards and 16 touchdowns this season alone, but it’s not always sunshine and rainbows for Brady and his big targets. The quarterback will be the first to admit how hard he is on the young studs.
“I have a lot of respect for both of those guys and I am tough on them because I think there’s very high expectations for them both on the practice field, obviously in games, and then in the meeting rooms as well,” Brady said during his appearance on Dennis and Callahan on Monday morning. “Everybody has high expectations for those two, because they’ve proven they can handle it.”
And while they can handle it, Brady is sometimes convinced that it confuses the bigger of the two targets.
“I never think Gronk even knows when I’m getting on him. He looks at me with this blind stare, like, ‘what are you talking about?’”
Confused or not, it’s certainly paying off on the field. Gronk now has 11 touchdowns this season and 21 in just 27 career NFL regular season contests. He’s had four two-TD games this year and three games of triple-digit receiving yards.
So why is TB12 so tough on the 22-year-old who stands in at 6-foot-5, 265 pounds?
“When you see certain inconsistencies, you point it out to them. Sometimes they don’t want to hear it,” Brady explained. “Ultimately, I had a lot of players do that to me when I was a younger player. That’s part of being a veteran player, is pointing things out that you need corrected as a team. Every year that goes on is one less opportunity that you’ll have to accomplish the goals you set out.
“I’ll be damned if I let some rookie or second-year player get in the way of our goals.”