BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Rob Gronkowski would love nothing more than to beat the Buffalo Bills this Sunday, but he'll always have a deep love for Buffalo and the Bills.
"The Bills do mean a lot to my family and I," Gronkowski told reporters on Wednesday. "We grew up in Buffalo, 25 minutes from the stadium. I was a big Bills fan growing up."
Gronkowski attended Williamsville North High School and played for the Spartans not just on the football field, but on the basketball court and the baseball diamond. During his junior season with the Spartans he had over 35 catches for nearly 650 yards and seven touchdowns, and also put up numbers on defense [six sacks]. He transferred to a school in Pittsburgh for his senior year.
"Whenever I was in the backyard playing football with my friends, my brothers and I, you line up out wide you're pretending you're the receiver they had," he recalled. "Moulds was my favorite player. If you make a stop or big hit you're acting like Takeo Spikes. The history of the Buffalo Bills goes way back for my family and I from playing in the back yard to watching the games."
The former Patriots tight end has always played well against his hometown team but this will be the first meeting between the two sides with he and Tom Brady playing for the Buccaneers. The Bills defense noted how tough Gronkowski is to stop as a player.
"When those guys are as big as what he is, they kind of box you out. He just uses his body and his frame is so big, that Tom puts the ball right on him, accurate every single time," safety Micah Hyde said. "it's tough to get around him. You've gotta try to get hands on him and do what you can to not allow them to complete that pass."
"We gotta be ready. They play hard football. They play for quarters of football and they bring it," Gronkowski said about the Bills. "We got a playoff team coming into our house. There's gonna be a lot of pressure on the line. They have a lot of playmakers. It's going to be a pretty intense atmosphere."