Tom Brady won’t pressure Rob Gronkowski to return

Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski celebrate a victory.
(Jim Rogash / Getty Images)

Speculation ramped up last week that former New England tight end Rob Gronkowski, who retired in the off-season, would return after Patriots team owner Robert Kraft noted Gronk hadn’t signed his retirement papers.

That put Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on the spot Monday when he was asked if he would lobby for Gronkowski to return.

“I love that guy. I’m so happy that he’s enjoying his time, his life,” Brady said on Boston’s WEEI radio station. “He seems to really be doing a lot of great things. He knows how I feel about him. I want what’s best for him. He’s the only person that can make those decisions. I don’t lobby for those things.


“I have a great relationship with him. He has given actually a hell of a lot to our team already over the course of a long period of time, and I think people should be very appreciative for what he’s brought to the team and what he’s brought to the region. I think he’s a very special guy. He’s just in a different phase of his life.”

Good idea

Alabama is favored by 35 points over Tennessee this Saturday, leading to an interesting game plan Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt is working on.

“There’s a high school team in Arkansas that goes for it every time on fourth down and tries an onside kick on every kickoff opportunity. If we could do that and never give Alabama the football this week, that would be a great game plan.”

Sounds like a guarantee

Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson is confident in his team going into Sunday’s matchup against the Cowboys at Dallas.

“We’re going down to Dallas, and our guys are gonna be ready to play. And we’re gonna win that football game, and when we do, we’re in first place in the NFC East,” Pederson told Philadelphia radio station WIP on Monday. “We control our own destiny. We’re right where we need to be.”

After realizing he may have come on a little strong, he backpedaled somewhat later in the interview.


“I never said ‘guarantee a win,’ ” Pederson said. “I’d never do that. But I don’t regret my comments because it shows confidence in our football team. I promise you [Cowboys coach] Jason Garrett is going to say the same thing with his team, that they are going to win the football game as well. I’m not going to stand up here and go on record and say, ‘We’re going to go there and try and win a game. Man, hopefully we can go win this one.’ It just doesn’t show confidence. And I want to show confidence in our players. We got a ton of confidence in them.”

“We’re going to win that football game,” sounds an awful lot like a guarantee to me. If it’s not, I need to recheck my car warranty, because it may not be as strong as I thought.

Bad choice of words

Former New York Yankees slugger Reggie Jackson apologized Monday after he used a lot of words you can’t print in a newspaper when he learned Yankees star Giancarlo Stanton would miss Game 2 of the ALCS because of an injury. Stanton missed all but 18 games this season because of injuries.

During an interview with Jim Bowden of the MLB Network on Sunday, Jackson said, “He’s been out all .... year! How the .... could he be hurt?”

Jackson said he didn’t realize he was live on the air.

“[I was] trying to make fun of the question, thinking it can’t go on the air with the swear words.” Jackson told NJ Advance Media. “I thought it was all a joke. I almost choked when he said they were on the air.”

Jackson said he reached out to Yankees media relations VP Jason Zillo to explain the situation and was informed he should bring it to Stanton before the media does.


“I immediately spoke to Jason Zillo and he advised I go in and talk to Stanton, which I did,” Jackson said. “I’d just spent several days with him during his rehab [from a knee injury] and he graciously accepted my faux paux.”