Gronk is back.

Rob Gronkowski made his return to the FOX NFL Kickoff show on Sunday, where he will appear throughout the season after rejoining FOX Sports as an on-air analyst.

The four-time Super Bowl champion was asked questions by fellow analysts Howie Long, Michael Strahan and Terry Bradshaw as well as host Curt Menefee for a new segment called “Like It or Spike It.” 


Bradshaw’s question had to do with whether first-year New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll, who is Gronkowski’s former tight ends coach with the New England Patriots, was the best position coach that Gronkowski had ever had. 

“I like it,” Gronkowski said. “I’ve had many great position coaches, but Brian Daboll brought the best out of you.”

Daboll spent a total of 11 seasons over two separate stints as an assistant coach with the Patriots under Bill Belichick, and was on staff during New England’s Super Bowl championship runs in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2014 and 2016.

He worked closely with Gronkowski in his second stint, serving as the Patriots’ tight ends coach from 2013-2016 after spending the previous four seasons as an offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs.

Gronkowski made three Pro Bowls and won 2014 NFL Comeback Player of the Year with Daboll as his position coach. Daboll later spent one season as the offensive coordinator at Alabama under Belichick’s close friend Nick Saban, then returned to the NFL ranks for a very successful stint with the Buffalo Bills where he is credited with helping the development of MVP candidate Josh Allen.

Later, Gronkowski was asked to rate his former NFL peers and name to top three current tight ends in the league. The future Hall-of-Famer chose Travis Kelce, who wears No. 87 like Gronkowski did in his playing days, as the top active player at the position.

“He can get open at any time, versus any opponent,” Gronkowski said.

His second-best active tight end is Mark Andrews of the Baltimore Ravens, who has emerged as the top target for star Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.

“He’s a pure-bred tight end,” Gronkowski said of Andrews. “He’s a complete tight end overall, the whole package.”

Rounding out Gronkowski’s top three is George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers.

“When he’s 100% healthy, he is definitely right up there,” Gronkowski said.

Gronkowski also got some good-natured ribbing from new FOX Sports teammate Sean Payton, who said he would have stayed with the New Orleans Saints if he had known that Gronkowski would also be leaving the NFC South.

“They’re missing you in the run game, they’re missing you in the red zone, I know Brady misses you, but I sure don’t miss you,” Peyton said.