The initial contact. The strike.
The fact that he wants to hurt you.
The aggression I put behind it, he says. The grit. There’s just so much that I bring behind it. I bring out the passion, the hatred, everything that comes with every time I hit somebody. I want to make everybody feel it.
OK, so scouts and coaches haven’t been grilling him about the lack of a hand. It’s been all X’s and O’s, and that’s encouraging. Still, Griffin has mastered the art of reading body language. He can sense when a coach doesn’t believe. He remembers pleading his case to that first UCF staff and hearing gibberish back—answers just for me to leave the room—and, sure, there are hints of doubt in the rhetoric from some NFL teams.
I knew that before I even got to this point, Griffin says. I knew it’d be like that at every level. The only thing I need is one team that does. One team that does. That’s all that I need. I’m not worried about everybody else.
I’ve never dealt with horses, he told the Wall Street Journal. Hopefully I can get a ride on the horse…. I’m not trying to ride it for a full speed ride. I just want to get the feel of what it’s like to be on top of one. Maybe I’ll go for a full speed ride once I get comfortable.
Joking (hopefully) aside, it only makes sense that Gronkowski the player and Gronkowski the horse would cross paths at some point. Whether it becomes a good omen during this year’s Run for the Roses remains to be seen.
Joe Montana and Jerry Rice. Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison. Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins ?
Watson has played only one season — and barely that — with the Houston Texans , but Hopkins is already convinced that their quarterback-wide receiver duo will be the best in the league next season.
And yet he wasn’t even invited to the NFL scouting combine — until he wowed scouts with a standout performance in the Senior Bowl and got the last-minute tap to come to Indianapolis.
Griffin, whose brother Shaquill was drafted by the Seahawks in the third round last year, ended up being the star of the combine in Indianapolis, where he ran a 4.38 in the 40 (said to be the fastest time a linebacker had run since 2003). He also did 20 225-pound reps on the bench press while using a special prosthetic strapped to his left arm.