Rob Gronkowski took a year off from football before coming out of retirement to request a trade from the New England Patriots to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Many wondered if the tight end would pick up where he left off, especially because he would, once again, be catching passes from Tom Brady.
Gronk hasn’t exactly lit up the stat sheet, but he’s become quite the blocker this year. But has he lived up to expectations after a year away from the gridiron?
“It has matched a lot of hopes that I had coming here big time. It’s just so hard to win football games in the NFL. Week in and week out, it’s just hard to win games,” he said Thursday, via a team-provided transcript. “The main goal, obviously, is always to make it to the Super Bowl, but it’s hard. It’s one of the hardest things to do out there in the sports world. You’ve got to put work in week in and week out. My expectations coming in were just to work hard week in and week out and just give the best I could every single week, no matter what I had. Just give it my all – if it was good (or) if it wasn’t good, it was still my all.
“Expectations – really, that’s all, is to give it your all. Obviously you want to win games and the main goal is to win it all, but to just be where we are now is just unbelievable. It’s exceptional (and) I feel like it’s well-deserved overall as an organization. Everyone has been working hard. Everyone has been putting their time in. Overall, it’s been a great experience. I’m not surprised that we’re this far, but at the same time, I know how hard it is to get this far and how much work gets put in.”
Gronkowski now turns his attention to the Green Bay Packers as the Bucs look to advance to Super Bowl LV on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game.