During their championship years, the Patriots had a strong core of leaders who would police the locker room and come down on any player who was perceived to be crossing the line.
Willie McGinest was one of the chief enforcers. Players couldn’t head out to the field without going past McGinest’s locker, which was closest to the door. Plenty of guys were stopped right there by No. 55 for a cautionary chat.
Given the latest escapades involving tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was videotaped performing wrestling moves at a Las Vegas nightclub with his twice-surgically repaired broken left forearm, would those antics have prompted a little McGinest face time?
“If there were things that needed to be addressed when I was there, I’d have a conversation with that player, or we had other leaders in the locker room who would talk to him,” McGinest told the Herald on Friday. “I just think, outside of being a professional, it was understanding what you had at risk, what we were there for, and understanding throughout that everybody should be accountable and everybody should be responsible. And you should know that what you do outside the field or outside the locker room directly affects everybody on the team.”
McGinest, the NFL Network analyst who was part of three Super Bowl championships with the Pats, agreed that Gronkowski had pushed the envelope with his pile-driver move that was caught on tape and circulated by TMZ. There was no problem with Gronk’s dancing and having a good time. But putting his not fully healed broken arm in harm’s way — even during the offseason — wasn’t acting responsibly or with the best interests of the team in mind.
In that light, McGinest also believed it was time for someone in the room to drop a dime on Gronk. And who might have the McGinest-like clout to make an impression on the young tight end?
Willie McGinest: Time to talk
Boston Herald | Feb 11