Jacob Camenker

Bill Belichick shares amusing story about Rob Gronkowski after he makes NFL's All-Time team

Bill Belichick shares amusing story about Rob Gronkowski after he makes NFL's All-Time team

The New England Patriots selected Rob Gronkowski in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Little did they know that at the time that he would go on to become arguably the greatest tight end ever.

Over the course of his nine-year career with the Patriots, Gronkowski recorded 521 catches for 7,861 yards and a whopping 80 total touchdowns. He established himself as one of the best pass-catchers in the league and for a time, it seemed impossible for opposing defenses to tackle him.

Gronkowski is a shoo-in to be nominated to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and was named to the NFL's All-Time team on Friday night. However, despite these honors, it wasn't always certain that he would be a success.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

As Bill Belichick detailed on the All-Time team special, Gronkowski was more of a "shot in the dark" than anything else, especially after a comically bad pre-draft visit.

"Rob was kind of a shot in the dark," Belichick said. "He came up on his pre-draft visit and had a bad visit. We put him in a room. Came back. He was asleep on the floor. He didn't make a very good impression."

Here's a look at Belichick's full story, via the NFL's official Twitter account.

Despite this, Belichick and the Patriots liked Gronkowski's skill set enough to trade up and select him in the second round of the draft. And it's safe to say that the decision paid off, as Gronk helped them to win three Super Bowls.

Gronkowski wasn't the only member of the Patriots to join the NFL's All-Time team on Friday. Offensive lineman John Hannah made the cut as well.

Hannah, a Hall of Famer, played in 183 games (all starts) at the guard position over the course of 13 years with the Patriots. He made seven All-Pro first-teams and nine Pro Bowls during his career.

Celtics Talk Podcast: What is your level of confidence with this Celtics team?

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File Photo

Celtics Talk Podcast: What is your level of confidence with this Celtics team?

Ahead of a strange five-day break in mid-December, the Boston Celtics are sitting at 17-7. But it's hard to figure out exactly how confident to be in this team.

On the one hand, the squad has certainly surpassed expectations to kick off the season. They have been dominant at the TD Garden and did have a 10-game home winning streak to start the campaign.

However, the C's just dropped two close games in a row to other Eastern Conference powers, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Indiana Pacers. Do those losses mean that the confidence in the Celtics that many were feeling to start the season should wane?

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On the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast, Chris Forsberg, A. Sherrod Blakely, and Abby Chin all weighed in on how confident they currently are in the Celtics. And despite the team's mini losing streak, they all are still fairly confident in the squad.

Chin gave the team a 7-of-10 confidence rating. She cited the performance of the Celtics' bigs against the 76ers and the "flashes" the team has shown this season as the primary reasons for that.

I feel like the Celtics bigs, Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter, did a serviceable job against Joel Embiid and held their own on the offensive end, and that gave me a lot of confidence in this team. I think that there's no way you're going to get that kind of game from Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum on the same night maybe ever again in their careers in what they put up against the Sixers. And I still think we see flashes of what this team can be here and there which is why I'm excited about them.

Blakely was a bit more non-committal on a rating, and instead gave a range of somewhere between 7 to 8 with 8.5 being their ceiling.

I see two different teams. I see a team when they're complete and I see a team when they're incomplete. When they're incomplete, I'm with you, they're a 7. They were incomplete against Philly. When you have a healthy Marcus Smart and a relatively healthy, good-to-go health-wise team, they're an 8.

Blakely also called the Celtics "a good team" and said that if every team in the Eastern Conference was fully healthy, his top two teams would be the Milwaukee Bucks and the Celtics.

Hear Forsberg's confidence in the Celtics along with more analysis from Blakley and Chin on the latest episode of "The Celtics Talk Podcast," which drops every week on YouTube and as a part of the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.

BLAKELY: Could Marcus Morris be on the move from the Knicks?>>>

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Mavericks, which tips off Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call at 9:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

That 617 Life Podcast: Are the Celtics contenders or pretenders?

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

That 617 Life Podcast: Are the Celtics contenders or pretenders?

The Boston Celtics are coming off a disappointing back-to-back which saw them drop games to the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers. While these two teams are among the best in the Eastern Conference, the losses have sparked some debate about this Celtics club.

Are they contenders or pretenders?

While the team has a 17-7 record, there has been chatter that because the team hasn't beaten the best teams in the East, they may not be able to make a lot of noise in the playoffs. But is that chatter being fueled by recency bias and the team's two latest losses?

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Shanda, Cerrone, and a special guest from NBC Sports Boston, Kyle Draper, debated the issue on this week's episode of "That 617 Life Podcast".

Draper defended the Celtics right out of the gate and pointed to the available personnel and level of competition the team has faced as reasons for the mini losing streak.

They played two very good teams. Can we at least say that? I'm not gonna be down on this team or concerned about this team. Let's go back to that Indiana game. If Gordon Hayward doesn't leave that game, if Jaylen Brown doesn't foul out, maybe you win that game. And you played without Marcus Smart. Same thing against Philly. That was a high-level game. I thought both teams played well.

Cerrone agreed with Draper and called the Celtics "one of the tougher outs in the NBA" ... when everyone's healthy. But getting everyone healthy is the big key for the team.

I think they'll get into a groove and they've gotta get into a rhythm as a team the more these guys stay healthy. That is the key to the whole thing, it's health.

The Celtics have seen a number of starters miss significant time with injuries and illnesses including Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart. So Cerrone's point is well taken, and the C's will be better off competing in close games against top-tier teams once they have their full complement of players available.

Hear more of the group's thoughts on the Celtics and other major Boston sports stories on the latest episode of the "That 617 Life Podcast", which drops every Friday as part of the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.

BLAKELY: Could Marcus Morris be on the move from the woeful Knicks?>>>

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Mavericks, which tips off Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call at 9:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.