How Rob Gronkowski used wardrobe change to have fun with Bucs' virtual workouts

Tired of virtual work? You're not the only one.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski grew pretty weary of the daily at-home workouts he had to record and submit to Tampa Bay strength and conditioning coach Anthony Piroli as a part of the offseason program, one adjusted because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At first, recording the reps and submitting them to the virtual platform was a novelty for Gronkowski.

"Just seeing the little chart that has all the workouts on it, just doing them all, filming yourself -- it was fun for, like, the first week filming yourself, sending the video in, making yourself look good," Gronkowski said Monday during Super Bowl availability. "If you felt like that one wasn't good, you were like, ‘Oh, I'm going to make myself look good so he thinks I'm doing everything.'"

It didn't take long for Gronkowski to grow bored with the monotony, though.

But in true Gronk fashion, he found a way to have a little fun with it.

"After, like, a week, it was like, ‘Oh, man. I just wish we were in-person,'" he said. "Because every time, I had to film myself and send it in in order to get credit for the workout and stuff. So that was kind of getting a little annoying.

"But then, I started tricking him. I would bring my shirt out, and then I would bring another shirt out, so when I'm running the sprints, I would film myself, like, 15 times for that session, that workout session. But I would run it in a couple different shirts -- because you only had to send in, like, two or three reps -- so that when the next time came, I didn't have to film myself because I already filmed myself running in a different shirt every time on that one day.

"And he doesn't have a clue to this day that I was tricking him about half the time during those virtual workouts."

Leave it to Gronkowski to pull a fast one on his new strength and conditioning coach, but his shortcuts didn't affect his preparation for the season. He hasn't missed a practice all year, he said Monday.

"I've played, what, 19 games?" he said. "This is the 28th week we're going on of just straight football, haven't missed a practice all year," Gronkowski said. "Not training camp, nothing. So I just feel good, man. I feel pretty good."