After reports Thursday that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will undergo back surgery to repair a herniated disk, Tom Brady spoke with Westwood One’s Jim Gray on the radio at night before the Cowboys-Vikings game.
Here’s what the Pats quarterback said about moving forward without his biggest target. You can listen to the full interview here for Brady’s take on the Cowboys success, his banged up knee, and his son Benny’s Monday night cameo.
Gray: Tom, let’s switch now to you and your team. Some very bad news today regarding Rob Gronkowski coming out to Los Angeles to see Dr. [Robert] Watkins. And it’s reported by several outlets that he will have surgery tomorrow for a herniated disk and whatever complications that brings as well. Would sideline him, they’re thinking, for if not the season at least for eight weeks, so that drastically changes the complexion of your team. What is your reaction to losing Gronkowski?
Brady: Well, you know, it doesn’t help losing great players, and to not have Gronk out there, one of our best players and most dependable, consistent players, you know, not in the lineup, you know, makes things challenging for us. But that’s what the NFL season is about, it’s about overcoming challenges, adversities. We have a lot of good players on our team that are going to need to step in and fill the void, and that’s a big void left by such a spectacular player in Gronk. So, you know, we understand the challenge that is ahead. It becomes more challenging when you lose such a great player in Gronk, but, you know, I don’t think any of us are going to give up on what we’re trying to accomplish, and we’ve played games this season without him, and we’re going to need to reach a higher level as individuals so that we can reach a higher level as a team. You know, our thoughts are with him. What he’s gone through, he’s such a mentally tough person, he’s physically tough, he’s got a great energy and spirit about him, you know, so we’re all wishing him the very best, and we hope he gets better as soon as possible.
Gray: Did you speak to Gronk?
Brady: Yeah, you know, I’ve seen him the last few days so I’ve spoken to him a few times. You know, again, just everyone’s thinking about him and what he’s gone through. It’s such a physical sport, it’s hard to see people that you care about go through injuries and he’s gone through his fair share, but I also know the resolve that he has, and that will never change with him. He’ll be as determined as ever to get back and get better as soon as possible.
Gray: So obviously, as you just indicated Tom, you guys will go on without him, but the results without Gronk have not been good due to his injuries. You’ve won with him in 2014, but the history would say that without him, it’s been very, very difficult, and the results indicate that. How do you approach it now?
Brady: Well, past performance doesn’t indicate future results. So I think part of being in the NFL is earning it, and so the guys who are in there are going to have to understand what their role is, what the coaches are asking of them, and we’re going to have to go out there and still try to play at a championship level. That’s what our job is, and it really doesn’t matter who’s out there, you’ve got to find a way as an individual to your best, and that’s what’s ultimately going to get the best out of the team. So nobody wants Gronk not out there, everybody wants Gronk out there every play of every game, but that’s not our reality, so we still have a job to do, and we’re going to go out and try to do it as well as we possibly can.