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Rob Gronkowski claims he never watches film. Should we believe him?

The Bucs tight end made the claim Monday night to Peyton and Eli Manning.
Bucs tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) delivers his trademark touchdown spike in the first quarter of Sunday's 48-25 victory against the Falcons at Raymond James Stadium.
Bucs tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) delivers his trademark touchdown spike in the first quarter of Sunday's 48-25 victory against the Falcons at Raymond James Stadium. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Sep. 21
Updated Sep. 21

For much of his career, Rob Gronkowski has come off as the classmate you love to envy, the mischievous member of the cool clique who aces every chemistry exam without ever cracking a textbook.

During a cameo on Peyton and Eli Manning’s Monday Night Football simulcast, the Bucs tight end reinforced that image.

In a sound bite that has gone viral, Gronkowski — who has four touchdown receptions in the Bucs’ first two games — told the Manning brothers he never watches game tape.

“My teammate, (fellow tight end) Cam Brate, just asked me the other day, he goes, “Rob, I have a serious question.’ He goes, ‘Do you ever watch film?’ And I said, ‘No, I don’t. I just run by guys. If I’m feeling good, I’m feeling good.’”

While fun to believe, the claim — which advances Gronk’s goofy, gifted-athlete persona — doesn’t jibe with the comments of peers who regularly laud his work ethic.

“The work that he puts in, it’s real, it’s serious,” offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich said in January during the Bucs’ playoff run.

“He’s going to come out and work hard and a lot of people kind of get that misconception of him, but he works hard every day,” fellow Bucs tight end O.J. Howard said in August. “When you see a guy who already has so much notoriety and some many accolades and still come out here every day to do it, it shows you how to be a pro.”

That said, hard work in practice doesn’t necessarily translate to intense film study. After all, this is the same guy who faked his isolated summer workouts (via some clever camera work) during the pandemic in 2020.

Related: Has Tom Brady already decided to play in 2022? Sure sounds like it

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