Patriots

Rob Gronkowski reveals 'game-changer' moment on eventual path to retirement

Rob Gronkowski reveals 'game-changer' moment on eventual path to retirement

Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski retired from the NFL in March, but it sounds like he might have first contemplated stepping away from the game as far back as the summer of 2017.

In the latest episode of HBO's "The Shop" on Tuesday night, Gronkowski talks about his retirement and how an experience in 2017 impacted his outlook on football.

"I would say about two years ago there was, like, a game-changer in my life where I was trying to go out to the practices during the summer, and I was getting smoked by every rookie," Gronkowski said when asked what made him figure out 2018 would be his last season. "I felt in order to do something bigger in life, in order to get to a higher stage -- because you're winning the Super Bowl -- I felt I had to get away from the game and focus on my health."

Check out the rest of Gronkowski's comments in the video below:

Gronkowski announced a partnership with a CBD company last week, and while he hasn't completely shut the door on making a return to football at some point, the future Hall of Famer seems content with his decision. 

The physical toll pro football takes on players is immense, and especially for a player like Gronkowski, who was at his best when running over opponents and gaining extra yards after lots of contact. 

Gronkowski dealt with many injuries and went through several surgeries in his pro career, and now in retirement he can focus on getting his health to a comfortable place again.

Gronk offers great retirement advice to Andrew Luck>>>

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Chris Long explains differences between 2016 Patriots and 2017 Eagles

Chris Long explains differences between 2016 Patriots and 2017 Eagles

Chris Long had spent most of his NFL career on losing teams. Then, he went and won back-to-back Super Bowl titles with the 2016 Patriots and the 2017 Eagles.

While the final result for both teams was the same, Long saw plenty of differences with the way Philadelphia went about their business compared to the Patriots. The former defensive end discussed in detail with Tom E. Curran in the latest Patriots Talk Podcast.

"The difference between New England and Philly was like, that was the first time [the Eagles have won the Super Bowl]," Long told Curran. "So whatever it was like when the Patriots won for the first time, that's what I walked into in Philly."

Long also touched on Lane Johnson's comments about Pats players "not having fun" in New England.

"In New England, they tend to do things a different way and it's the Patriot Way, but you also have had 'the GOAT [Tom Brady]' for 20 years and you've got 'The Hoodie' [Bill Belichick]," Long said. "So that continuity... and of course part of that is the way Bill does things and the way they've designed that organization.

"Every organization is different and some are more 'fun' than others. I also consider having a bunch of awesome teammates in New England a lot of fun and I thought winning was a lot of fun because for eight years, I was on crap teams."

You can hear everything Long had to say by listening to the Patriots Talk Podcast below.

Other topics on the show include Long's upcoming media company, "Chalk Media," how athletes deal with social anxiety, Colin Kaepernick's upcoming NFL workout, and Long's new NBA "side team."

Listen to the full episode below (Patriots/Eagles discussion begins at 24:31):

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Patriots Talk Podcast: Chris Long on SB 52, Philly-NE differences, Kaepernick, retirement and more

Patriots Talk Podcast: Chris Long on SB 52, Philly-NE differences, Kaepernick, retirement and more

Chris Long has a unique perspective on Patriots-Eagles, having been with both teams on their Super Bowl title runs. He joins Tom E. Curran for a wide-ranging discussion.

1:04 - Long, the former Rams, Patriots and Eagles defensive end, joins Curran to discuss life after retirement. 

5:19 - Chris talks about his media company, Chalk Media, and what type of content he hopes to create and who he hopes to reach.

12:26 - With the NFL announcing the league will be holding an open tryout for Colin Kaepernick, Chris gives his take on the situation and whether or not he thinks the former 49ers quarterback can still play.

19:57 - How do athletes deal with social anxiety? Chris talks about how fans' interactions make him feel as he tries to live his life post-NFL.

24:31 - Chris and Tom talk about the differences between the two championship teams he was on - the 2016 Patriots and 2017 Eagles - and how “fun” played into each team’s season.

29:42 - A lot has changed for the Patriots and Eagles since Super Bowl LII. Chris talks about the track each team has been on since that game and how he sees their Week 11 matchup going.

38:41 - As a Knicks fan, Chris feels like he needs a side NBA team to watch. He was given the Celtics and he couldn’t be more excited to cheer for them this season.

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