FOXBORO -- Duron Harmon knows Rob Gronkowski. He knows what Gronkowski did to Tre'Davious White last weekend was wrong. But he also says he knows that Gronkowski isn't a dirty player.
That's how White described Gronkowski while meeting with Bills reporters on Thursday.
"It is what it is," White said. "He did what he wanted to do. He is what he did. That's all I've got to say about it."
He is what he did.
In White's mind, Gronkowski's dirty act makes him a dirty player. It was an assessment Harmon -- like Gronkowski, a Patriots captain -- didn't agree with.
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"Tough to comment on that because all of this stuff is just bad," Harmon said. "But I've known Gronk for five years now. Gronk is not only a tremendous football player but a tremendous teammate. Will do anything for you. Always has a smile on his face. Always doing the right thing. At that moment, didn't happen. But I wouldn't call Gronk a dirty player. Just a bad situation."
Harmon clearly didn't agree with Gronkowski's late hit. And he didn't make excuses for his teammate. But his point was that one instance should not define Gronkowski's reputation.
"Something out of character. Something he doesn't do at all, except that time," Harmon said. "All you can do is learn from it . . . Learn from it, move forward, and when he gets his opportunity to play again, play well."