Rob Gronkowski Says His, Tom Brady's Return to NE vs. Patriots Will Be 'Pretty Epic'

Adam WellsMay 19, 2021

FILE - In this Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021 file photo, Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87), left, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrate together after the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Tampa, Fla. NFL Films has been chronicling Tom Brady’s career since he entered the league in 2000, but there are still times when there are still new things to reveal. That is the case with this year’s Super Bowl film, chronicling Brady’s seventh championship and his first with the Tampa Buccaneers.  (AP Photo/Steve Luciano, File)
AP Photo/Steve Luciano, File

Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Rob Gronkowski is looking forward to playing his first game against the New England Patriots this season. 

Speaking to Casey Phillips of Buccaneers.com (h/t Kevin Patra of NFL.com), Gronkowski said his return alongside Tom Brady to Gillette Stadium on Oct. 3 is "going to be pretty epic."

"It's definitely going to be emotional for sure, I would say," he added. "I just had a great nine years (in New England). Probably the best nine years of my life. It was the beginning of basically my whole football career there."

When the NFL schedule was released last week, much of the focus went to the Bucs-Patriots game in Week 4. 

Brady's return to New England was the primary talking point, for good reason. The 43-year-old won six Super Bowls and three MVP awards during his 20-year stint with the Patriots from 2000-19. 

The Patriots were the standard by which all other NFL franchises were measured for those two decades. They won 17 AFC East titles and only missed the playoffs twice after Brady took over as the starter early in the 2001 season. 

Gronkowski's arrival in 2010 provided a spark for Brady and New England's offense. The tight end racked up 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns in 115 games over nine seasons from 2010-18. 

The Patriots scored at least 436 points in every season with Gronkowski, including three consecutive years with at least 500 points from 2010-12. 

After a one-year retirement in 2019, Gronkowski returned to the NFL last year. He was traded by the Patriots to Tampa Bay. The five-time Pro Bowler had a solid regular season with 623 yards and seven touchdowns. He caught two touchdowns in the Bucs' 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV for his fourth NFL championship.