Rob Gronkowski defends work ethic

Updated: February 25, 2012, 1:50 PM ET
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com

Gronkowski
Gronkowski

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski defended his work ethic and post-Super Bowl dancing on Friday, the first time he's spoken publicly on the subject since a video of him relaxing after the game went viral earlier this month.

"Hard work and dedication, I always put my job first before anything, no matter what it is. I'm always just dedicating myself. Unfortunately, it just happened like that. I mean, it is what it is," Gronkowski said on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia, as part of Mike Missanelli's celebrity call-in contest.

"I have a lot of fun with my family. It was the first time I got to see them in a while. We were just having fun with my brothers and stuff, friends I hadn't seen in a while. The chance to hang out with [the band] LMFAO, that was pretty cool, too. Unfortunately we didn't win and that was the number one goal. That's all we did, was work, for the two weeks from the Baltimore game to the Giants game, just to keep on grinding. I was in the training room 24/7 getting healthy. Same with everybody else. Unfortunately we just came up short."

Video of a shirtless Gronkowski on a dance floor, despite an ankle injury, drew criticism from many, including former Patriot Rodney Harrison.

Gronkowski said he can understand why it might look bad to some, before adding, "I'm 100 percent in, every single game, every single practice, every single thing just to get out there on the field. It was definitely a tough loss. I was hurting from it. Everyone was hurting from it. You don't work that hard all year to get to the final game and lose. It just hurts, definitely. It just went on. I'm an [easy going kind of] guy. I try to get over things as soon as possible."

Asked if he was over the Super Bowl loss, Gronkowski said, "You're never over it emotionally. Every time people bring it up to you, every time you see something in the paper or on TV about it ... deep down, it's making me want to grind even harder this year, and this offseason."

Gronkowski said he's currently in a cast and on crutches after having surgery on his ankle.

Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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