FOXBORO, Mass. — A squadron of media members engulfed Rob Gronkowski on Thursday, peppering the New England Patriots tight end with question after question — most of them somehow relating to Tom Brady and/or Jimmy Garoppolo.
Brady’s Deflategate suspension and the resulting short-term promotion for Garoppolo form the No. 1 storyline of Patriots training camp, meaning every player, regardless of position, repeatedly will be asked for his take on the situation.
Gronkowski might be the only one to include breakfast food in his response.
When a reporter asked him which quarterback, Brady or Garoppolo, was a better scrambler, Gronkowski replied: “No one makes better scrambled eggs than me.”
Yep, that’s Gronk.
The four-time All-Pro wasn’t all jokes, though. He offered a lengthy response when asked how knowing Garoppolo will start the first four weeks of the regular season will affect his approach to training camp.
“It?s not a difference at all,” Gronkowski said after the first full-team practice of Patriots camp. “It?s not a change at all. It’s training camp; it?s not going to be any different. You take reps with every single quarterback — Jacoby (Brissett), Tom, Jimmy — whoever it is, every single year in camp. It?s not like I just sit there and go with the same players every single time. I?m rotating with the quarterbacks, and that?s how I feel it?s going to be throughout the time.
“However it is, it is. It?s all in the coach?s decision. What I?ve got to do is just make sure I?m prepared and get open on the route, whoever the quarterback is.”
Garoppolo is entering his third pro season but has yet to start his first NFL game. Gronkowski said he has confidence in the 24-year-old, however, who split first-team reps with Brady during Thursday’s session.
“We?re super confident in whoever?s in there,” Gronkowski said. “And that?s what practice is for, that?s what training camp is for, for everyone to get on the same page. It?s great to get the first day, get our feet wet a little bit, get reps with everyone, all three quarterbacks. So far, it?s going well but (there?s) a lot to improve on, for sure.”
Patriots coach Bill Belichick confirmed Wednesday that Garoppolo will begin the season as New England’s starting quarterback, then return to his previous backup role once Brady’s four-game suspension is up.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images