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Gronkowski reviews his rookie season

Posted by Shalise Manza Young, Globe Staff  March 24, 2011 04:31 PM

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rob-gronk-portrait.jpgPatriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was in-studio for NFL Network's "Total Access" program last night and was his usual funny self.

Gronkowski talked about a variety of topics during the show, in a one-on-one interview, during a segment where he got to be an analyst and talk about Giants' quarterback Eli Manning, and on the small field inside the NFLN studio, showing off some of his moves.

A second-round draft pick who went on to record a Patriots rookie-record 10 touchdowns, Gronkowski was asked by host Rich Eisen how quickly he realized that he'd be a big part of the offense last season.

"Not that quickly, because at first when I was there it was a struggle getting everything down," he said. "Getting down the playbook, just learning the whole system and all. But throughout the couple weeks talking to some players and some coaches, they just said keep working hard and good things are going to come. Eventually it did."

The four preseason games helped, Gronkowski added, as well as the training camp practices.

When New England traded Randy Moss, it changed the offense. But no one told Gronkowski and fellow rookie Aaron Hernandez that they'd be playing a bigger role.

"They didn’t sit us down like that, they just said 'keep working hard, keep doing what you’ve got to do to get on the field…get open, keep learning how to block' and all. They sat down and said practice hard, you get the field [based] on what you show us in practice," Gronkowski recalled.

As most Pats fans - and NFL fans - know, Gronkowski has four brothers, two of whom also play in the league. Chris Gronkowski is a fullback in Dallas, while Dan is a tight end with Denver.

As brothers do, Rob admitted to bragging to his brothers about his success.

"They know I got way more touchdowns than them," he joked. "You can combine theirs and then times those by 10, and there’s mine."

But the three are tight, and are working out together during the lockout.

Gronkowski made sure to talk up his own quarterback when he was asked about whether Manning should be considered an elite quarterback.

"He's definitely an elite quarterback. He’s not at the very top of it - he ain’t no Tom Brady, I’ll tell you that," Gronkowski said, smiling. "(But) he always has his team in the potential to go in the playoffs…always up there with wins."

Video of Gronkowski on the "Total Access" field is here.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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