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Rob Gronkowski: Patriots fans go 'bazooka' at Gillette

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  • By Edward Lewis NFL.com
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Reporters got a Rob Gronkowski in full "Patriot Way" game-week mode at Wednesday's AFC Championship Game press conference. The All-Pro tight end made sure to sidestep questions that could be perceived as controversial and he was conservative with most of his answers.

But even playoff-time Bill Belichick couldn't take the Gronk fully out of New England's pass-catcher.

When asked about the home-field advantage the Pats have at Gillette Stadium, a place the Jacksonville Jaguars' franchise has never won, Gronkowski made sure his answer included at least some of his personality.

"Our fans are always coming out. I remember last year I was watching the stands and they were going bazooka," he said of last season's AFC Championship Game that he had to sit out of because of injury. "They were super loud. Super proud."

Gronkowski, perhaps realizing he used too colorful of a description for Pats fans, went back into cliche mode to finish off the answer: "But it doesn't matter where you are. If you're playing home, if you're playing away, it's the better team that comes out. It's the team that's more prepared, it's the team that plays better on Sunday that's going to win the game. It doesn't matter if we're home or if we're away. It's whoever comes out and plays harder on Sunday. So that's what we gotta do. Obviously having our home fans, them being super loud when they need to be definitely helps out, too."

No matter the adjective Gronkowski chooses to describe the Patriots' faithful, his point still stands: New England, especially in playoff time, is a tough place to play for opponents.

The Patriots' last loss at home in the playoffs came in the 2012 season to the Baltimore Ravens. They've won seven straight, including last weekend's 35-14 demolition of the Tennessee Titans, since then.

Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone, when asked this week about how hard it is to play in Foxborough, via the Jaguars' team site, didn't mince words: "One time someone said, 'What's the toughest place to play?' I said, 'Gillette Stadium in New England.' They go, 'C'mon?' I said, 'What do you mean? Look at their record.' It's the most difficult place I've ever played."

It's no doubt even harder when Pats fans are in "bazooka" AFC Championship Game form.

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