Catching up with Rob Gronkowski

Former Wildcat and current New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski reviews his rookie season in the NFL and shares his expectations for the future of Arizona Football. First of all, what are you doing back in Tucson?

Rob Gronkowski: Just coming back during this lockout. Have to keep busy, so I came here to workout with the strength coaches, see all my friends, see all my buddies that still go here. It's been good getting the workouts down in the weight room, getting stronger, getting bigger and going out on the field too and throwing. But the cool thing is seeing all my coaches that coached me here and all of my ex-teammates here still doing good things. What former coaches and teammates do you keep in touch with?

Rob Gronkowski: A lot of the ex-teammates here that are in the league now. I'm working out with Mike Thomas, Eben Britton, and Earl Mitchell. We're all out in the weight room, it's going good. Coaches too, Coach Kish, Coach Littrell, Coach Stoops. I've just been seeing and talking to everyone, having a good time and checking out the ex-teammates that are still here playing. It's a lot of fun seeing them. You had a huge rookie season; scored 10 touchdowns, put up big numbers. Is that the kind of season you envisioned?

Rob Gronkowski: I didn't just go in envisioning that, but I envision doing what I have to do to get out on the field to earn some playing time, to earn my job, and to get out there and make some plays. It just comes from hard work. I just have to keep working hard out there and hopefully build on to next season from this season. You missed your entire junior season with a back injury, then got cleared to play and entered the draft. You haven't missed a single game or practice with the Patriots. How have you been able to stay healthy?

Rob Gronkowski: When I got the back surgery cleared up and everything, I just took care of my back basically and stuck with the rehab hard. I worked back into it slowly and ever since I've been doing rehab at least once a week to make sure my back stays stable. What's it like being a rookie; any funny stories?

Rob Gronkowski: Being a rookie, it's like learning a whole new system. It is learning a whole new system. Just going in there, getting a new playbook, seeing what the team is like, seeing how practices are, seeing how workouts are, it was pretty crazy. I really didn't have to do anything too crazy as a rookie, but I got a haircut in one of the pre-season games where they gave me a Mohawk, that was pretty funny. I kept it for a little bit, but it grew out. Your brothers Chris and Dan are also in the NFL. With three Gronkowskis in the league, how stressful are Sundays for your parents?

Rob Gronkowski: I don't know if they're actually stressful for them, but I know they're having a lot of fun with it. They're always visiting my brothers and I whenever they can. Whoever has the closer game, they fly out to. It's pretty cool that they get to catch so many games. They go home after watching one and they go watch the others. I know they're definitely having a lot of fun with it and they will be this year too. You've been able to keep up with the UA football team from New England. What advice have you given to the guys that are on the team now?

Rob Gronkowski: Just to keep working hard to make things come your way. You can't just go out there and be slacking around, you have to work hard. Keep doing things that you have to do to get out on the field, and keep doing what you have to do in school to be eligible to get out on the field. Basically, just do what you gotta do. You were doing some coaching out there at UA's spring game a couple weeks ago. What were your impressions of the team from seeing them play?

Rob Gronkowski: They're looking sharp; offensive and defense are looking sharp. They got the returning quarterback in Nick Foles who's looking sharp out there, and they definitely have a great core of wide receivers. I know they're going to be making some plays this year. How successful will this year's squad be?

Rob Gronkowski: I always think they're going to be mad successful. When I was here I always felt going in that we had a great team every year and that we were going to be very successful. I feel like it's going to be like that this year, definitely another bowl game. What do you miss most about Arizona?

Rob Gronkowski: Overall, just everything. The whole college life, it was always cool. Being a part of the family and tradition here at Arizona, the football team, the weather, the atmosphere around here, everything.

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