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Patriots QB Tom Brady responds to Rob Gronkowski, defends dour demeanor

Jesse Reed

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been in a funk the past couple of weeks, and on Sunday he was called out by former teammate Rob Gronkowski.

Gronkowski, doing his job as an NFL analyst for Fox Sports, said Brady and the Patriots need to be happy that they are winning, rather than brooding over what’s not gone right.

“He’s so frustrated, too. It’s like, ‘Yo, you guys are 9-1.’ That’s one part I don’t miss about being there. Hands down. I’m not going to lie. I don’t miss that,” Gronkowski said. “They’re frustrated. They’re 9-1. They win a game against Philly last week. We lost to them two years ago in the Super Bowl. They should be happy. Instead, you’re sitting there Sunday night thinking, ‘What did I do wrong?’ No, that’s not the feeling you should be having. But you won the game. Enjoy it. Go out next week, and build off it.”

Not surprisingly, Brady was asked to respond to Gronkowski during a radio appearance with WEEI Monday morning. He defended his behavior, which also shouldn’t come as a surprise.

“I have a job to do,” he said. “I think my job, it’s very important to me. I want us to do as best we possibly can each week, like I always have. Everybody puts a lot into it and you want to see a great performance. When it’s less than that I don’t know what I should feel other than what is authentic to me and what is authentic to my own personal feelings and beliefs about how we should be performing and what we need to do in order to do better.

“I have 20 years of experience, so I feel like I have some knowledge. I don’t have all the answers, but I have been around long enough to know what it looks like. I think our guys are trying. We have good attitudes and we work hard. We have a very good team. I think our team will improve as we on offense improve. I think we can do that by — again, it comes down to trust, and dependability and consistency. That is what we’re trying to do. Those things just don’t magically come together. You’ve got to work at them and we’re working at them. Hopefully we can reach a higher level.”

Brady also said this specifically about Gronkowski’s Sunday comments:

“I think everyone deals with things differently and I think that was part of having a guy like Gronk in the locker room that was so great was he approached it like he does,” Brady said. “He always looks at the bright spots in everything. When you have great attitudes like that, it is good to have. He was a great player for us for a long time. We have different challenges that we face and for me personally, I don’t have one emotion after every game. There’s probably five or 10. The moment you catch me is how I will feel at a particular time and sometimes it takes time to digest things and deal with things. Hopefully we can process those by the time the preparation for the next week starts.”

Brady and the Patriots won an ugly game Sunday in the rain at Foxborough to improve to 10-1 on the season. They continue to lead the conference and could end up as the No. 1 seed in the end.

Yet as always, Brady will not find satisfaction until the job is complete. And for the Patriots, that means nothing less than a seventh Super Bowl win.

Though, one wonders if Brady’s dour demeanor — so much like Bill Belichick of late — is good for his teammates, one of which said Week 11’s win “felt like a loss.”