Rob NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
In the Beginning – Rob Gronkowski was born May 14, 1989 in Amherst, New York to parents Gordon and Diane Gronkowski. His father played offensive guard for Syracuse University. His great-grandfather, Ignatius, was a member of the 1924 U.S. Olympic Cycling team in Paris.
Rob Gronkowski is the second-youngest of five brothers. Meet the bros;
- Bro # 1 Gordie, Jr. – Played Division 1 baseball at Jacksonville University and was drafted by the Anaheim Angels in 2006. (Loves Fitness!)
- Bro # 2 Dan – Played tight end at Maryland and was selected by the Detroit Lions in the 2009 NFL Draft. Currently plays for the Cleveland Browns. (Takes the longest to get dressed)
- Bro # 3 Chris – NFL Fullback. (Still holds high school lifting records)
- Bro # 4 Rob – Played football at Arizona where he shattered all receiving and touchdown records. Currently starting Tight End New England Patriots. (Can speak English and Spanish)
- Bro # 5 Glenn – Currently a freshman at Kansas State University. (Favorite day of the week is tuesday!)
Rob Gronkowski attended Williamsville North High School near Buffalo, New York for three years. He played football as a tight end and basketball as a center. As a junior, he recorded 36 receptions for 648 yards and seven touchdowns, and 73 tackles and six sacks on defense. He was named an All-Western New York first-team and All-State second-team player.
In 2006, he moved to Pennsylvania and attended Woodland Hills High School as a senior. Gronkowski recorded eight receptions for 152 yards and four touchdowns at Woodland Hills. He was named a SuperPrep All-American, PrepStar All-American, Associated Press Class 4-A all-state, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “Fabulous 22”, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first-team all-conference, The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, PA) “Platinum 33”, and a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review “Terrific 25” player.
Following high school, Gronkowski attended the University of Arizona. As a true freshman in 2007, Gronkowski recorded 28 receptions for 525 yards and six touchdowns. His 18.8 yards per reception average was the best on the team and his receiving yards were a then school record for a tight end. He was named a The Sporting News freshman All-American, Rivals.com freshman All-American, The Sporting News freshman Pac-10 and All-Pac-10 honorable mention player.
Gronkowski missed the first three games of the 2008 season, but later recorded 47 receptions for 672 yards and a team-best ten touchdowns. Five of his touchdowns were scored in his first two games. He was twice named the John Mackey National Tight End of the Week, including for his performance in a failed comeback bid against Oregon, where he caught 12 passes for 143 yards. He set the school tight end records for single-game, single-season, and career receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Gronkowski was named an Associated Press third-team All-American and All-Pac-10 first-team tight end.
New England Patriots
Gronkowski was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. He signed a four-year contract on July 25, 2010. During the preseason, Gronkowski was one of three NFL players to score four touchdowns. In the Week 1 game against Cincinnati, Gronkowski caught his first regular season touchdown in the fourth quarter on a one-yard pass from Brady.
In a Week 10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Gronkowski caught three touchdown passes from Brady, becoming the first rookie in Patriots history, and the youngest rookie in NFL history to accomplish the feat. (In honor of the feat, Madden NFL 12 has a “Rob Gronkowski Award” for players who have a tight end catch three or more touchdowns in a single game.)
Returning to his home city of Buffalo in Week 16, Gronkowski caught two touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills, giving him nine touchdown catches on the season. He added a touchdown in the season finale, giving him 10 on the season, and making him the first rookie tight end since the NFL-AFL merger to score 10 touchdowns. In 16 games played (11 starts), Gronkowski caught 42 passes for 546 yards. Gronkowski did not miss a single game or practice all season.
Gronkowski was nominated three times for Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week, in Weeks 10, 14, and 17, losing in Week 10 to Tim Tebow, and winning in Weeks 14 and 17. Gronkowski also finished fifth in fan balloting at tight end for the 2011 Pro Bowl, and fourth overall among rookies. Gronkowski also received one writer’s vote for the Associated Press 2010 All-Pro Team (writers only vote for one tight end).
Gronkowski caught his first touchdown of the 2011 season on a 10-yard pass from Tom Brady in the Patriots’ Week 1 victory over the Miami Dolphins; Gronkowski’s 6 passes accounted for 86 of Brady’s franchise record 517 yards. In Week 11, Gronkowski caught two touchdown passes, including a career-long 52-yard catch and run, to equal his 2010 TD total in just ten games; he passed his reception and yardage totals from 2010 in only eight games.
Through Week 11, Gronkowski led all tight ends with 10 touchdowns; his 20 TDs were the most ever for a TE in his first two seasons. His reception and receiving yardage totals both ranked second among TEs, and in the top ten among all receivers.
Gronkowski broke the NFL record for touchdowns scored in a single season by a tight end when he had the second three-TD game of his career in the Patriots’ Week 13 victory against the Indianapolis Colts. After scoring two TDs on receptions from Tom Brady, Gronkowski scored a third touchdown from 2 yards out. Initially declared a forward pass, the pass was later ruled a lateral pass, which is recorded as a rushing attempt; it was the first rushing attempt of Gronkowski’s career, and his first rushing touchdown. It was also the first rushing touchdown by a tight end since Bo Scaife did it in 2006, and the first in Patriots history. At game’s end, Gronkowski had sole possession of the touchdown scoring record, with 14, and shared the record for receiving touchdowns, 13, with Antonio Gates and Vernon Davis.
Gronkowski took sole possession of the TE receiving record a week later against the Washington Redskins, in which he caught his 14th and 15th touchdown passes of the season; in total, he had six receptions for a career-high 160 yards. His performance also earned him his first AFC Offensive Player of the Week award, and, for the second week in a row, NFL.com’s “Hardest Working Man” award. He ended the season with 1,327 receiving yards, breaking the previous NFL record for a tight end of 1,290 set by Kellen Winslow in 1980. He also finished with 18 total touchdowns, 17 receiving—both NFL records for tight ends. Gronkowski’s 18 touchdowns were the second-highest total in the NFL, and equaled the output of the entire St Louis Ram’s team. His 17 receiving touchdowns were the most of any NFL player in 2011, marking the first time in NFL history a tight end had sole possession of the league lead.
Gronkowski was voted the starting tight end for the AFC at the 2012 Pro Bowl. One of eight Patriots players voted to the Pro Bowl, he finished fan voting with 936,886 votes, more than triple the number received by the number two tight end, Gronkowski’s teammate Aaron Hernandez, and the third-highest total of any AFC player, behind teammates Tom Brady and Wes Welker. He was also voted the tight end for the AP All-Pro first team, receiving 44½ of the 50 votes (44 voters voted for Gronkowski; 5 voters voted for Jimmy Graham, and one voter split a vote between the two).
In the Patriots’ first playoff game, a 45–10 rout of the Denver Broncos in the Divisional round, Gronkowski tied an NFL post-season record, catching three touchdown passes as part of a 10-catch, 145-yard effort. Gronkowski alone had more catches than the entire Broncos offense, as quarterback Tim Tebow completed just 9 of 26 passes.
For the second playoff game, a 23-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens. Gronkowski had 5 catches for 87 yards, with a long reception of 23 yards. In the second half, Gronkowski suffered a high ankle sprain on a tackle. The status of his ankle was one of the major story lines in the runup to Super Bowl XLVI.
On June 8, 2012, Gronkowski signed a six-year, $54 million contract extension, the largest ever for an NFL tight end. The contract included an $8 million signing bonus, but leaves the 2012 and 2013 seasons of his rookie contract intact.
Gronkowski broke his forearm late in the fourth quarter of the Patriots’ 59-24 victory in Week 11 over the Indianapolis Colts with reports stating he would be out four to six weeks.Before doing so, however, he became the third tight end in NFL history (after Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates) to achieve three seasons with at least 10 touchdown receptions, and the first ever to do it in consecutive seasons.
Gronkowski returned to practice in Week 15, and participated in the Week 17 game against the Miami Dolphins, scoring a touchdown.
In February 2013, Gronkowski was diagnosed with an infection in his forearm. He underwent an open procedure—the third on his forearm—in an effort to clear the infection; he was subsequently placed on a course of antibiotics. On May 20, 2013, Gronkowski underwent a fourth surgery on his forearm to replace the hardware implanted in the second procedure and perform tissue biopsies. On June 18, 2013, Gronkowski underwent back surgery. He was cleared to play for the October 20, 2013, game against the New York Jets. During a game against the Cleveland Browns on December 8, 2013, Gronkowski suffered a right knee injury after a direct hit from T.J. Ward. Gronkowski tore his ACL and MCL, which prematurely ended his 2013 season. In 7 games (6 starts), Gronkowski produced 592 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns.
In his first game back from ACL/MCL surgery, Gronkowski managed to catch four passes for 40 yards and a touchdown against the Dolphins in a losing effort, 33–20. He played on limited snaps as the Patriots worked him back to full strength slowly. Against the Vikings in Week 2, Gronkowski logged another 4 receptions for 32 yards in a 30–7 win. Against the Raiders in Week 3, Gronkowski caught 3 balls for 44 yards and his second touchdown of the season, and the only touchdown scored in the Patriots’ 16–9 victory. Through Week 3, Gronkowski logged 1 start, 11 receptions, 116 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns on only 109 offensive snaps (42% of the team’s offensive total). Gronkowski broke out in Week 8 against the Bears, catching 9 passes for 149 yards and 3 touchdowns. In week 14 against the San Diego Chargers, Rob Gronkowski became the first tight end in NFL history to catch at least 10 touchdowns in four separate seasons. Gronkowski was a major factor in the Patriots’ Super Bowl XLIX win, 28–24 over the Seattle Seahawks, recording 6 catches for 68 yards and a touchdown late in the second quarter.
Gronkowski was named to his third Pro Bowl and was the unanimous choice for tight end on the 2014 All-Pro Team, receiving all 50 votes. At the 2015 ESPY Awards, Gronkowski won the Comeback of the Year award for his 2014 season.
During the Patriots’ home opener on Thursday Night Football against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 10, 2015, Gronkowski caught five passes for 94 yards, scoring three of the Patriots’ four touchdowns in their 28–21 victory. The three-touchdown performance was the third in Gronkowski’s career, one shy of wide receiver Randy Moss’s team record of four. It also made Gronkowski the first player in NFL history with multiple three-touchdown-reception games against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Through the Patriots’ first six games, all victories, Gronkowski recorded 34 receptions for 533 yards and six touchdowns. He added 113 yards and a touchdown on Oct. 29 in a 36–7 win over the Miami Dolphins.
After missing a week, Gronkowski returned for the Patriots’ December 13 game against the Houston Texans. He caught four passes for 87 yards and a touchdown, for a total of 10 touchdowns and 1,018 yards on the season. The Patriots won 27-6 to snap a two-game skid.
On December 20, Gronkowski caught five passes for 54 yards and one touchdown in a 33–16 win over the Tennessee Titans. He dedicated the touchdown to his friend, Dana Parenteau, who had passed away at the age of 43 two days earlier.
In the Patriots’ 27-20 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Round, Gronkowski caught seven passes for 83 yards and two touchdowns. In the AFC Championship game, a 20-18 loss to the Denver Broncos, Gronkowski led all receivers with 8 catches for 144 yards and a touchdown and almost lead the Patriots to an incredible comeback only to fall short on the 2 point conversion.
Gronkowski was selected to the Pro Bowl and to the AP All-Pro first team for the fourth time in his career; he led all non-quarterbacks in fan voting for the Pro Bowl, and received 48 of 50 All-Pro votes at tight end.
- Most touchdown receptions by a tight end, season: 17 (2011)
- Most touchdowns by a tight end, season: 18 (2011)
- First tight end to lead the league in receiving touchdowns (2011)
- Most receiving yards by a tight end, season: 1,327 (2011)
- Most offensive touchdowns in first two seasons: 28
- Consecutive seasons with 10+ touchdowns by a tight end, 3
- Most touchdown receptions by a rookie in Patriots history: 10
- Highest receiving yards per game average for a Tight end (season): 82.9 (2011)
- First tight end to lead the NFL in receiving touchdowns(2011)
- Most touchdown catches in a post season game: 3 vs broncos(2012)
- Most multiple touchdown games in a single season by a tight end: 7 (2012)
- Youngest player with 3 touchdowns in a single game: 21 years, 214 days(2010 vs Steelers)
- Youngest player with 3 touchdown receptions in a playoff game: 22 years, 275 days (2011 playoffs, vs. Denver Broncos)
- Madden 2012 has a “Rob Gronkowski award” for players who have a tight end that scores 3 or more TDs in a single game