New England Patriots Talk Dallas Cowboys Matchup

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Sep 27, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) on the sideline as they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second half at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the the Jacksonville Jaguars 51-17. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Gronkowski

Q: What is it about Tom Brady that makes him one of the best quarterbacks of all time?

RG: He always has a competitive edge to him. Every day he shows up to work, if it’s in the film room or it’s on the field, he’s ready to compete and he’s ready to roll.

Q: How much of Jason Witten have you watched over the years and is there anything from his game that you’ve tried to incorporate into your own?

RG: Oh yeah, definitely. I’ve been watching him ever since I’ve been in high school, college. Definitely always watched him and always tried to take notes from his game and develop it into my game. He’s a great tight end and one of the best to ever play, so the way he plays to see how he gets open in the field and try to take it to my game. I loved watching him growing up.

Q: Have you had a chance to meet him?

RG: Just real quick at an NFL event a while back, but it was just quick.

Q: Do you wish Tony Romo and Dez Bryant were healthy so it would be a bigger matchup?

RG: It is what it is. Everyone has to deal with injuries throughout the season and whoever is out there is going to be competitive. The Cowboys are a great team no matter what and you’ve just got to be prepared for whoever is out there on the field at that time.

Q: What stands out to you about the Cowboys’ defense?

RG: Yes, they play hard. They’re big, they’re fast and they play hard. They come at you and they’re prepared.

Q: What have you seen from Byron Jones on film?

RG: He’s a great player, especially for his first four games of his NFL career. Just got to be prepared for him, as well as being prepared for everyone else, too. You never know who you’re going to face. You’ve got to study the whole defense, study every player because you never know who is going to be matched up on you at any time. Along with Byron Jones, just got to study all the other players and be prepared for any matchup because they’re all good players.

Q: Where have you improved the most in your Patriots career?

RG: Throughout my career, just knowing the game of football, being around Coach Belichick, being around Tom, just developing my knowledge of the game of football and the understanding of defenses, how to get open, along those lines.

Q: How much effort have you put into your run blocking and being a complete tight end?

RG: Yeah, that’s a part of being a tight end is being able to block. I love doing both. Like I said, I don’t want to be down the field running a route every time, but I also don’t want to be blocking every single play. I like the balance of both at the tight end position. I think it’s fun to block, I think it’s fun to go out for catches, and also being able to block helps out the pass game. I’ve just got to work in all areas of being a tight end.

Q: How does your personality fit in with the culture of the Patriots?

RG: I just come out here and do my job. Whenever I show up to work, every time I come out here to practice, I go out there, work hard, try and get better every single play and then I can just be who I am.

Q: How fun is it to be you?

RG: It’s fun. I don’t know. That’s a hard question to answer. Just got to be yourself, as long as you’re coming in, working hard every single day and doing the right thigs to get better. It’s a blast.

Q: Do you think this is the best Patriots team you’ve been on?

RG: Every year is a whole different situation and this year I just feel like we just take one game at a time and one team at a time.

Q: What is it about this team that you’ve been able to take that mentality of one game at a time, and it seems like you’re on a mission?

RG:Yea, you just put what’s happened in the past behind you and you’ve just got to focus on what’s coming up in the future and that’s this week and that’s the Dallas Cowboys, and that’s all we’re concentrated on is the Dallas Cowboys. That’s all we’re focused on – nothing else at the moment – because Dallas is a great team, going on the road at that stadium with those fans, we’ve got to be prepared and we’ve got to be focused.