Patriots

Gronkowski apologizes for cheap shot, but expresses frustration with lack of calls

Gronkowski apologizes for cheap shot, but expresses frustration with lack of calls

BUFFALO -- Rob Gronkowski acted like a kid who knew he did something wrong, but at the same time felt there was at least a sliver of justification in his actions.

The Patriots’ all-world tight end channeled his inner-WWE past -- and, potentially, his future -- by dropping a forearm shiver/elbow drop on the head of Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White late in the Pats’ 23-3 victory over Buffalo. White, who had intercepted a Tom Brady toss intended for Gronkowski, immediately left the game and is being evaluated for a concussion. Meanwhile, Gronk got flagged but not ejected for the cheap shot.

PATRIOTS 23, BILLS 3

“First of all, I defintely want to apologize to number 27,” said Gronkowski. “I’m not in the business of that. There was a lot of frustration. I was just really frustrated at that moment and it just happened naturally through emotions and frustrations. I just want to apologize to Tre'Davious White. I don’t really believe in any types of shots like that but just through the frustration process -- the game of football -- emotions, (it's) what happened.”

Apologies aside, Gronk made it clear that he felt the officials had a tough day. On that route alone, he felt as if he was interfered or held three or four times and yet the refs neglected to throw a flag.

“At the top of the route I felt like it was big held,” he said when asked why he was so agitated by the play. “Then the throw -- there was definitely I feel like he kinda pushed me a little bit and made the play. I just don’t understand why there wasn’t a flag.”

It wasn’t just there on that play. Gronk told me after his brief media scrum that he couldn’t fathom either the offensive pass interference he got hit with early in the game or the holding call late. He claimed defensive end Jerry Hughes went so far as to tell him that last call was idiotic.

“There was a couple of times during the game they’re calling me for the craziest stuff ever,” said Gronkowski “It was just crazy. Like, what am I suppose to do? And then they don’t call [the play by White]? It was just frustration and that’s what happened.”

This has been a common theme with the Pats’ nearly uncoverable tight end, who tortured the Bills once again with 9 catches in 11 targets for 147 yards. The team and the player both feel there are two sets of rules -- one from Gronk, one for everyone else. 

Publicly, Gronk wouldn’t address it, 

“I don’t know, he said, “I just gotta keep playing hard.”

But, when pressed, he did add that this frustration hasn’t been a result of the last couple of games, or even the last couple of years.

“Over the past seven years,” he exclaimed.

Gronkowski said he doesn’t fear a suspension, as he has no past history with the league office. But he did admit that type of behavior can’t happen again.

“That definitely could hurt the team,” he acknowledged. “Obviously it didn’t hurt the team there [today] but it definitely could in the future. I gotta keep my cool.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Breakfast Pod: The Patriots defense has been awfully impressive

Breakfast Pod: The Patriots defense has been awfully impressive

Some takeaways from the Patriots' first three preseason games: a dominant defense, an up-and-coming rookie backup QB and Tom Brady's reluctance to go to young receivers.

1:11 - Tom Curran joins BST to discuss the success of the Patriots defense over these first three preseason games. The crew also gets into if we're starting to see some pieces being put into place for the next phase of the dynasty - specifically if Jarrett Stidham will in fact be the Tom Brady's successor.

8:31 - Andy Hart and Curran discuss the chemistry issues Brady and Jakobi Meyers seemed to be having Thursday night and if this is going to be a continuing problem for TB12 with young receivers.

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DEBUT OF THAT 617 LIFE POD: The Pats, Patrick Chung, and the Jay-Z/NFL partnership

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DEBUT OF THAT 617 LIFE POD: The Pats, Patrick Chung, and the Jay-Z/NFL partnership

In the premiere episode of "That 617 Life" podcast with Shanda Foster, Cerrone Battle, and Leroy Irvin, man do we have a lot to get through!

Off the top, we discuss the Patriots third preseason game against Carolina, including how Tom Brady looked, Jakobi Meyers with an uneven game, plus what to expect from Josh Gordon this season.

15:31: Shanda sounds off on the tattooed Larry Bird mural, Carmelo Anthony and the Lakers, and James Harden's magical beard powers.

21:51: Patrick Chung got in some hot water over a possible cocaine charge...lots to unpack of what happened at his New Hampshire house.

28:25: Cerrone's "Cold Cuts and Hot Takes" calls out Carmelo Anthony for not taking the hint and going away.

32:34: Jay-Z and the NFL announced a partnership this week, and there's been a lot of chatter on social media relating to Colin Kaepernick. A great discussion from the crew on this topic.

46:11: We finish out the show with "Playa's Call", including an unlikely choice from Shanda.

LISTEN & SUBSCRIBE HERE:

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.