Rob Gronkowski Comments on Leading NFL in Offensive Pass Interference Flags

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2015

FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2015, file photo, New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski (87) scores a touchdown in front of New York Giants' Jayron Hosley (28) during the second half of an NFL football game in East Rutherford, N.J. A last-second field goal keeps the New England Patriots unbeaten and No. 1 in the AP Pro32 rankings, and the Carolina Panthers are up to No. 2 with the league's only other perfect record. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has been flagged a league-high four times for offensive pass interference this season.

Speaking with ESPN.com's Mike Reiss on Thursday though, Gronkowski claims he is an innocent man and will continue playing the game his way:

I'm not doing anything wrong. I'm playing football... I'm not changing my style...I'm not sure what it is. I'm just going to keep playing how I've been playing; how I go out and practice and try and transition it to the games. ... It's been going on all year.

The four flags, though, are already double the amount of offensive pass interference calls he was flagged for last season, according to Reiss. It's not like the call for that certain penalty is dramatically increasing around the league either, as Reiss points out that there have been 81 OPI calls this season through Week 10 compared to 75 last season.

Flags most certainly are not hurting his numbers in 2015 either. Through nine games, he has 49 receptions for 806 yards, which are on pace for career highs, to go with eight touchdowns. 

With a quarterback like Tom Brady under center, the Patriots can move the ball at will, averaging 325.9 passing yards per game, thus chewing up big chunks of yards whenever they are facing long down-and-distance situations after penalties. 

Gronkowsi realizes that too:

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We're playing well as an offense. It's not that frustrating when I get the penalty and someone else makes a play on third-and-long. That definitely helps out right there, but got to just keep playing the game.

As the most dominant tight end in the game who is downright unstoppable at times, there's no reason why Gronkowski should ever think about changing his game. It's his physical aspect that makes him such a difficult receiver to hold down.

A lot of teams around the league would easily take a tight end like Gronkowski who commits a few more penalties but is a major component of a 9-0 football team.

Take the tight end's word for it: Nothing is going to change anytime soon. 

Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com


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