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Jimmy Garoppolo ‘going in the right direction,’ plays it down the middle with Tom Brady, Jacoby Brissett

06.07.16 at 8:00 pm ET
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Jimmy Garoppolo speaks Tuesday after mini-camp practice at Gillette. (Mike Petraglia/

Jimmy Garoppolo speaks Tuesday after mini-camp practice at Gillette. (Mike Petraglia/

FOXBORO — This June has a somewhat different feel for Jimmy Garoppolo.

The quarterback out of Eastern Illinois is entering his third season with the Patriots and may or may not be the Patriots starting quarterback on Sept. 11 in Arizona.

Like last year, he is preparing for the season with a huge legal cloud of uncertainty hanging over Tom Brady and his playing eligibility.

Unlike last year, he has another quarterback behind him in mini-camp in rookie Jacoby Brissett. But as Garoppolo met with the media following Tuesday’s first mini-camp workout outside Gillette Stadium, the would-be Brady back-up said he’s trying to repeat the Spring and Summer of 2015 when he took everything in stride.

“Pretty much the same. Going about my business the same way. Just coming out here and trying to get better every day,” Garoppolo said. “We’ve been pretty fortunate so far. We’ve had good weather and everything. We’ve had good weather and everything. Practice has been going well. Just have to keep rolling the way we are. Obviously, experience always helps. But to be honest, it really doesn’t change much for me. Whether it happened last year or it didn’t happen, I’m pretty much going about it the same way. Just enjoying the process right now and trying to get through OTAs.

“I think [progress is] going the right way, going in the right direction. Obviously, there’s a long way to go. I’m only going into Year 3 now, there’s tons of things to improve on. If we just keep going the right way, we’ll be all right.”

Garoppolo made it clear that he feels much more comfortable running the offense.

“No question. I think it’s going really good, to be honest,” Garoppolo said. “I know all the guys. Guys know me. You learn defenses. It’s not like I’m picking up a playbook for the first time. I can remember back to rookie OTAs. It was night and day. It’s going well.”
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Rob Gronkowski reportedly missed practice due to ‘cautious approach’ with undisclosed injury

06.07.16 at 7:51 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski wasn't on the field with the rest of his teammates Tuesday. (Mike Petraglia/

Rob Gronkowski wasn’t on the field with the rest of his teammates Tuesday. (Mike Petraglia/

Rob Gronkowski was one of 13 players not to participate in Tuesday’s minicamp practice and now it’s somewhat known why.

According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Gronkowski missed the practice because of a “cautious approach” being taken with an undisclosed physical ailment. It isn’t a long-term concern.

Prior to this report,’s Chris Price reported Gronkowski was at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, just not on the field.

Bill Belichick didn’t have much to say when asked about Gronkowski not being on the field.

“There are a lot of players that were not on the field,” Belichick said. “They were doing other things.”

It’s unclear when a potential Gronkowski injury occurred as there were no reported offseason surgeries.

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Source: Rob Gronkowski was at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday

06.07.16 at 5:53 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski

FOXBORO — While he was not on the practice field with his teammates, Rob Gronkowski was at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, according to a source.

Gronkowski apparently arrived and departed at roughly the same time as the rest of his teammates on Tuesday. The only difference was that the big tight end was not on the field for the first of three mandatory minicamp practices.

While Gronkowski was in Foxboro, it remains unclear as to why he wasn’t on the field at the time. Patriots coach Bill Belichick didn’t shed much light on Gronkowski’s absence.

“There are a lot of players that were not on the field,” Belichick told reporters following Tuesday’s workout. “They were doing other things.”

Was Gronkowski expected to be there?

“All of our players are. They’re doing other things,” Belichick said.

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Roger Goodell pokes fun at own death with tweet

06.07.16 at 5:24 pm ET
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Earlier on Tuesday, the NFL’s official Twitter account was hacked and posted a series of tweets saying commissioner Roger Goodell had died.

It didn’t take long for the NFL to clarify the account was indeed hacked and later reported the league is investigating the matter with law enforcement being involved.

Goodell himself later took to Twitter to joke about the matter, posting a picture of himself with the caption: Man, you leave the office for 1 day of golf w/ @JimKelly1212 & your own network kills you off. #harsh

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New Patriots WR Chris Hogan already buying into ‘Patriot Way’

06.07.16 at 4:53 pm ET
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Chris Hogan is already sounding like a Patriot. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports)

Chris Hogan is already sounding like a Patriot. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — Chris Hogan has only been a member of the Patriots a few months, but he’s already talking like he’s been on the team a few years.

Following the team’s first minicamp practice on Tuesday, Hogan was asked his No. 1 takeaway from actually being a member of the Patriots, coming after playing in the AFC East for six seasons.

“Accountable,” he said. “You’re playing 100 percent every single down and do your job. That is kind of stressed to us every single day. One thing coach [Bill] Belichick has been saying is to keep from losing before you start and I think that is what we’re doing out here. We’re learning and holding ourselves accountable so that when it comes time for the season we’re ready to go.”

Hogan was a restricted free agent with the Bills following last season Hogan, but he signed a three-year offer sheet with the Patriots worth $12 million, which the Bills quickly decided they wouldn’t match, making Hogan a Patriot.

Listed at 6-foot-1, Hogan isn’t the tallest receiver, but the Patriots and Tom Brady are known to have smaller receivers be successful in their offense such as Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola right now and Wes Welker and Troy Brown in the past.

The Monmouth product admitted he did think about that before signing.

“I mean, it’s intriguing definitely,” Hogan said. “You see what these guys do during the season and they are very successful.”

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Mike Petraglia, Ryan Hannable talk Malcolm Butler, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Dobson

06.07.16 at 3:49 pm ET
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FOXBORO —’s Mike Petraglia and Ryan Hannable discuss the debut of Malcolm Butler at Patriots mini-camp, his contract status and what to make of the absence of an apparently healthy Rob Gronkowski, who missed the mandatory workout Tuesday outside Gillette Stadium. The pair also discuss an impressive workout from wide receiver Aaron Dobson, who caught a long touchdown pass from Jimmy Garoppolo in 11-on-11 drills.

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Patriots TE Martellus Bennett not thinking about contract, which expires following 2016 season

06.07.16 at 3:37 pm ET
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FOXBORO — There are a number of players on the defensive side of the ball with expiring contracts following the 2016 season, but there’s also a fairly big-name on offense in the same boat — tight end Martellus Bennett.

Bennett was traded from the Bears this past offseason with one year remaining on his deal. The 29-year-old is making just over $5 million this season and said Tuesday following the first day of minicamp he isn’t thinking about this being the last year of his contract.

“I feel like every year is the last year of my contract,” Bennett said. “It’s just how I live. I’m not really concerned about it. I haven’t even thought about it actually until you just told me.”

Even at 29 years old, Bennett said there are still ways he can be better. His best year came in 2014 when he caught 90 passes for 916 yards and six touchdowns. The Patriots are his fourth team in nine NFL seasons.

“I think football is a sport you can never fully reach your potential,” Bennett said. “It’s very aggravating because there is always something little you can do better. I was fortunate to play with guys like Jason Witten, Terrell Owens — a lot of guys like that early in my career. The way they worked and constantly tried to find one way to get better and I think you can never truly be all you can be because there is always something you can be doing better.”

Bennett made some news when following the last open media OTA session where he made several nice plays, he tweeted: It’s just OTAS. The tight end clarified what he meant.

“Just OTAs, a lot of fans were on Instagram and stuff like that. It’s just OTAs and you just work to get better,” Bennett said. “Right now, the plays in the season are made in the summer. Whether it is workouts away from here or workouts with the team, that is when you train to make plays during the season. Being the start of OTAs doesn’t really mean anything. It means you’re constantly working and trying to be the best player you can at the end of the day.”

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