Hannable: It’s easy to side with Rob Gronkowski in Alex Guerrero-TB12 Method drama

Ryan Hannable
April 09, 2018 - 12:46 pm

Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports

At 28 years old, Rob Gronkowski has had close to 10 surgeries on his body due to injury — 10!

Four back surgeries, four forearm surgeries, one knee surgery and one ankle surgery, all before he turns 30 years old. Clearly, the tight end has been through a lot and struggled to stay healthy, not playing a full 16-game season since 2011.

But, last season the tight end noted on multiple occasions he was feeling different — more healthy. This was because he had adopted a new training method, the TB12 method and began working with Tom Brady’s personal trainer, Alex Guerrero.

“I mean as you get older you start feeling it more, for sure,” he said during training camp of why he decided to adopt the TB12 Method. “I remember I was 21 at one point, when I was 22, first [and] second year in the league, I could just go home and I used to just not really do anything. But now as you get older, it just felt like it was that time in my career where I just really needed to focus on it and go to the next level or else I could’ve possibly been out of the door. So just wanted to take it to the next level and keep on going.”

While it seemed like the right thing to do, especially seeing the results with Brady, it didn’t seem to go over well with Bill Belichick.

Immediately after the season, it was reported the All-Pro tight end contemplated retirement during the year and wasn’t happy at times. Over the weekend it was confirmed a lot of that had to do with him being a TB12 client and the blow back it got from his head coach.

According to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, Belichick chastised Gronkowski in front of the team for being a TB12 client early-on in the 2017 season. The coach obviously wasn’t thrilled with so many players besides Brady working with Guerrero given the tension it was creating between Guerrero and the Patriots training staff, which ultimately caused Belichick to ban Guerrero from the Gillette Stadium building all together.

With that being said, there's no question Guerrero shouldn't be bad-mouthing the team's training staff, but that isn't a Gronkowski issue. He shouldn't be responsible for Guerrero's words -- that is a Belichick and Guerrero problem, and he shouldn't have to take the heat by being chastised in front of the team because of it.

The team drama aside, it’s a no-brainer to see how Gronkowski would get frustrated by Belichick being upset with him working with Guerrero and adopting the TB12 Method.

Ever since his college days at the University of Arizona, Gronkowski has battled injuries and clearly was willing to do anything to stay healthy and not be sore for days following games. 

Working with Guerrero this year, he finally was able to feel healthy for an entire season.

Gronkowski missed two games, but one was due to a suspension and the other was because of a knee injury, but the game was on a Thursday and if it were on Sunday he reportedly would have played. 

Clearly, working with Guerrero paid dividends.

Belichick obviously wants Gronkowski on the field as much as possible and for the first time in a long time he got that for an entire season, but because of the way it happened he wasn’t happy? It doesn't make much sense.

With how dominant and important of a player Gronkowski is, he deserves to be in almost the same category as Brady. After all, Belichick didn’t seem to have an issue with Brady working with Guerrero up until this season.

The 65-year-old coach is in a difficult spot.

Of course he would prefer not to have another year with the Guerrero drama being a thing, and letting him have total access again would be an easy solution, but he also has his own training staff’s back and his own beliefs on how players should train. It feels like Belichick isn’t totally opposed to what Guerrero does, after all he did give him total access at one point, so a solution where both sides meet in the middle seems very plausible.

This needs to happen because if it doesn’t there’s the real possibility of upsetting Brady, Gronkowski and more members of the team, and Belichick certainly doesn’t want that given their importance.

While he probably doesn’t want to, it seems Belichick needs to give in a little with Guerrero as the results he’s gotten with Brady and Gronkowski speak for themselves.