If there were any lingering hopes that future Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski would return to the NFL, at least for this season, he dashed them when he appeared on FOX NFL Sunday this afternoon. In fact, he seems happier now than ever before after putting the rigors of the weekly football grind behind him once and for all.
"No, I'm not going back," said Gronkowski when pressed repeatedly by host Curt Menefee.
Among the topics he discussed with the FOX hosts was his bafflement with the attitudes of some of his former New England Patriots teammates - especially quarterback Tom Brady. The Patriots lead the AFC East with a 9-1 record, but have struggled on offense recently and were soundly beaten in their one loss by a Baltimore Ravens team who now looks like the hottest team in the NFL.
Gronkowski especially took note of Tom Brady's short, but highly negative, press conference after the Patriots' comeback victory over the Philadelphia Eagles last week, in which he called out his team's offense for their below-average play.
“That’s the one part I don’t miss about being there. Hand down. I’m not going to lie. I don’t miss that,” said Gronkowski. “They’re frustrated. They’re 9-1. They win a game against Philly last week. We lost to them two years ago in the Super Bowl. They should be happy. Instead, you’re sitting there Sunday night thinking, ‘What did I do wrong?’ No, that’s not the feeling you should be having."
To be fair, earlier in the conversation, he cited Tom Brady as one of the most inspirational figures of his football career.
"He set an example for me throughout my whole career, and there's many life lessons that not just Tom, but the whole organization has taught me."
But still, the negativity that is associated with the perfection the Patriots seek is something Gronk is happy to be done with.