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Devin McCourty: Rob Gronkowski does fewer 'meathead things' now that he's older

Ryan Hannable
December 28, 2018 - 9:17 am

FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski is not the same player and person as he was as a rookie in 2010.

Safety Devin McCourty has been around for his entire career, so has some good insight on how the tight end has evolved, particularly off the field.

"I think he’s a lot like the way he’s kind of been," he said. "I think he has this persona of like this party animal that’s always out partying, but if you see him, like when he was young, he was always in the weight room, always lifting the heaviest weights – like he was a big meathead. So, he’ll probably say he does less meathead things and more functional movement and things like that. He’s still laughing, joking, he’s still a kid, and I think that’s good. I think it’s good for the team to have guys like that in the locker room. Sometimes around here, things are hard, we practice hard and it’s hard days. Bill [Belichick]’s not laughing often, so having guys like that helps in the locker room."

McCourty's comments do make sense as the tight end has recently been connected to Tom Brady's personal trainer Alex Guerrero, who is not a big believer in lifting weights.

It's been a tough year for Gronkowski on the field, as he's battled ankle/back injuries and hasn't looked like his usual self. In 12 games, he has recorded 45 catches for 658 yards and three touchdowns.

"I would say for a lot of guys, it’s something to watch," he said. "We got drafted together. No matter what it was – forearm, knee – like he’s always been in here grinding. I would say going though injury, if you needed someone to watch on how they prepare each day in practice whether he’s on the side doing different exercises, like he’s always doing something to try to get his body ready to practice and for the game. I think he’s been a guy to watch and see what he does. He never complains about something hurting or not being able to do – like he just does what he can do and when he’s coming back from an injury, usually it’s a little more each day.

"Obviously, you guys see he’s been one of the best tight ends since he entered the league. I think his leadership and how hard he works has stuck out more to guys in the locker room than I think people outside the building talk about."

Gronkowski will be 30 years old this offseason and when asked Thursday if he plans on playing next year, he was noncommittal

Related: Hannable: Rob Gronkowski didn’t commit to playing in 2019, but his words were telling