'It's an emotional game': Brady acknowledges Gronk's late hit, battles with refs

By: Dalton Main

Updated:

BOSTON - Tom Brady says he understands Rob Gronkowski’s frustration, but didn’t excuse his teammate’s conduct Sunday. 

A dominant on-field performance by Gronk was overshadowed by a cheap-shot to Bills rookie Tre’Davious White when he dove onto the cornerback from behind after a play. 

“I saw it on TV, you know I didn’t see it at the time,” Brady explained to WEEI hosts Kirk and Callahan Monday morning. “Obviously, it’s unnecessary roughness and he got the penalty for it.”

Brady said Gronk has been battling officials for holding calls his entire career, as he was Sunday on the play where his frustration boiled over. 

“It’s an emotional game and these are spur of the moment things and they just happen and we got the penalty,” said Brady. 

Brady noted Gronk has had to change his style of play at times, particularly when he outweighs defenders and struggles to use his physicality.  

“You limit it to a non-contact play and then you try to out-quick someone and you know those guys are a lot quicker,” said Brady. “He’s tried to change his style of play, but he obviously gets grabbed and held all day long.”

He didn’t elaborate too much on Gronk’s hit, but admitted frustration can get the best of you – as with his apparent verbal spat with Josh McDaniels on the sideline Sunday. 

“You’d always love to keep your cool all the time, but you’re in a sport where you run and hit and tackle…it can be difficult,” he said. 

Brady said he hopes Gronk won’t be suspended and went on to praise Gronk’s performance not only Sunday, but throughout his career. 

“Gronk is one of the best players to ever play in the league. His ability to run and catch and block, he’s just exceptional,” Brady said. “That was a huge reason why we won was his ability to play at that level.”

MORE: Patriots improve to 10-2 with win over Bills

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