Rob Gronkowski told Peyton and Eli Manning on their Monday Night Football MegaCast program that he doesn't watch film.
But speaking with reporters Wednesday, Gronk clarified that he was just joking.
"I actually watch tons of film. An overload of film," he said. "I will probably blame [PR director] Nelson [Luis] over there. He asked me eight times to go on the show. I told him, 'It's not a good idea.' They always get me in that type of silly atmosphere and that's what happened. Now coach [Bruce Arians] threatened me. I don't get my vet day anymore."
Arians had joked with Gronkowski in front of reporters that he was taking away his veteran rest days after his remarks to the Mannings.
Whatever Gronk is doing, it's working. He's started the season on fire, catching 12 passes for 129 yards and an impressive four touchdowns. It's unlikely that he'll keep up his 34-touchdown pace this season, but it's also clear that Tom Brady still very much trusts his longtime teammate in the red zone.
"Trust me, I watch so much film that my girlfriend gets mad at me," Gronkowski added Wednesday. "She friggin' throws s--t at me sometimes, I'm watching so much film. Sometimes I go home and she's like, 'You've been gone all day and now you're studying, you've got your iPad out,' and I'm like, 'Yeah, I've gotta get into it. I gotta learn.'"
In his original comments to the Mannings, Gronkowski joked that he doesn't need to watch film because Brady "watches like, I don't know, 40 hours of film a week" and that he doesn't need to practice on Fridays because it's when the team works on its red-zone packages and he's "Red-Zone Robby G already, baby."
The 32-year-old Gronkowski will never be accused of being a boring pedant, that much is certain. But he wouldn't have put together a Hall of Fame career or torrid start to this season without taking the game of football very seriously.