- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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New England Patriots Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski made the media rounds at ESPN on Wednesday. Gronkowski said all the right things about his partying reputation and rehabbing his broken arm, which has been operated on three times in the past several months.
Gronkowski said he understands the headlines that were caused when a video went public of the tight end wrestling with a friend in Las Vegas and dangerously landing on his arm.
“They're big fans of the Patriots and they just want to see the team do well,” Gronkowski said Wednesday on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike in the Morning." “I totally understand where the fans are coming [from], where they don't want [me] to put myself in jeopardy of getting hurt. I totally understand that. I would never do that, put myself in jeopardy.
"To the max, I love going out there every week and performing to the best of my ability, and I love going out there playing. I understand where they are coming from. They just don't want to see me hurt again. That's totally understandable."
These comments from Gronkowski are commendable. But are they accurate?
Many would argue Gronkowski already put himself in harm's way during the incident in Vegas. Fortunately for the Patriots, nothing happened and Gronkowski is on the road to recovery.
The most important thing is Gronkowski's actions must match his words from this point forward. This year's installment of the "Summer of Gronk" shouldn't include more videos or pictures of Gronkowski acting zany. It's time for Gronkowski, a $53 million player, to grow up and put his health, the Patriots and his teammates first in the offseason.
Gronkowski goes full speed in everything he does. He goes full speed on the football field, which Patriots fans love. But Gronkowski also goes full speed off the field, and that needs to change. Based on Gronkowski's comments on Wednesday, it sounds like he's at least aware of the issue.