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Rob Gronkowski on relationship with new Patriots TE Martellus Bennett: ‘We’re funny together’

06.11.16 at 1:28 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski

WOBURN, Mass. — Rob Gronkowski has a new friend in the tight ends room.

The Patriots acquired Martellus Bennett in a trade with the Bears this offseason and like Gronkowski, Bennett has a very outgoing personality, even dropping a Dr. Seuss line following a minicamp session at Gillette Stadium this week.

Speaking at his football clinic on Saturday morning, Gronkowski said he’s looking forward to working with and learning from Bennett, as well as new tight end Clay Harbor this season.

“They’re great guys. Clay’s a great guy. Everyone in the group’s a great guy,” Gronkowski said. “Marty B, he’s funny. He’s a great dude to have around. Great football player. He’s going year nine in the league, you can definitely learn things off of him. We’re funny together.”

Having Gronkowski and Bennett on the same team should make for a nightmare scenario for opposing defenses as Bennett looks to be what Scott Chandler couldn’t be last season.

After not being on the field with the rest of his teammates for minicamp this past week, Gronkowski was excited to work with almost 700 kids on Saturday and even got him excited thinking about the upcoming season.

“Yeah it does. It definitely does,” Gronkowski said. “Seeing all the parents in the stands yelling, all the kids going crazy, it definitely keeps you motivated. You want to keep it rolling.”

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Rob Gronkowski, Patriots ‘on same page’ after missing minicamp, adds he’ll be ready for training camp

06.11.16 at 12:09 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski feels he'll be ready for training camp. (

Rob Gronkowski feels he’ll be ready for training camp. (

WOBURN, Mass. — After missing minicamp last week, it doesn’t seem like a big concern for Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Speaking at his football clinic run through Pro Camps Saturday morning, Gronkowski confirmed he was present at Gillette Stadium this past week, but “doing other things.”

“I’m doing other things. I’m participating fully with what the coaches have me doing. We’re all good. We’re all on the same page,” Gronkowski said. “Coming out here it’s just as fun. Just working hard during the week and then coming out here applying the skills we’re learning in football and bringing them out in the kids.”

The tight end was asked again about not being on the field, but he reiterated he was just “doing other things.”

“I mean, I was present, but I was doing other things as coach would say. It’s all good. I’m good,” he said.

Gronkowski is no stranger to having injuries as he’s suffered severe back, knee and arm injuries over the years. When asked about the trust between the team doctors and himself, he said everyone is on the same page.

“If I feel like it’s the best interest for myself, at the same time, if I’m on the same page with whatever they want, we’re all on the same wave length,” Gronkowski said. “Everything’s going smooth. Everything is going good.”

So, after not being on the field for OTAs and minicamp, will he be ready for training camp?

“Oh, yeah,” Gronkowski said with a smile.

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Tom Brady seeks golf advice from Jordan Spieth in latest Facebook post

06.10.16 at 7:14 pm ET
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Tom Brady isn’t as good on the golf course as he is on the football field.

So the quarterback took to Facebook to ask Jordan Spieth, a fellow Under Armour member, for golf advice on Friday with a video of Brady hitting a shot out of the woods.

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Patriots release TE Michael Williams

06.10.16 at 5:48 pm ET
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The Patriots announced Friday they have released tight end Michael Williams.

Williams, whop reportedly suffered a torn ACL in minicamp on Wednesday, was acquired by the Patriots from Detroit in a trade for an undisclosed draft pick on Aug. 26, 2015. The 6-foot-6, 304-pounder, originally entered the NFL as a seventh round draft pick (211th overall) by Detroit in the 2013 NFL Draft out of Alabama. After spending his rookie season on injured reserve, Williams spent the 2014 season on the Detroit practice squad while converting from tight end to offensive tackle.

Last season with the Patriots, the 25-year-old played in 15 games with nine starts, primarily as a blocking tight end. He registered three receptions for 26 yards. Williams also played in both postseason games with one start but did not record any statistics.

Provided Williams clears waivers, he’ll revert to injured reserve.

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Devin McCourty really likes what he’s sees from young DBs: ‘Those guys are really learning’

06.10.16 at 11:59 am ET
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Devin McCourty speaks Thursday after mini-camp practice at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/

Devin McCourty speaks Thursday after mini-camp practice at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/

FOXBORO — For Devin McCourty, this is a great time to be a leader in the Patriots’ secondary.

After spending the last several weeks and mini-camp this week with first and second-year members of the defensive backfield, the newlywed veteran safety is pumped up about what he’s seeing.

In addition to working with second-round pick Cyrus Jones, the eight-year pro McCourty has been playing alongside the likes of Darryl Roberts (2015 pick from Marshall), Jordan Richards (2015 pick from Stanford) and Brock Vereen (third year pro from Minnesota). Malcolm Butler and Justin Coleman are also entering just their third NFL season.

The natural question after Thursday’s final day of mini-camp was to get a feel for how Jones, a projected slot corner, has adapted from Alabama to the Patriots secondary.

“He’s another one of the smart guys from Alabama,” McCourty said with his trademark smile. “Between him and [Dont’a] Hightower, he knows his stuff. It’s been good. He’s been out there. He’s been trying to learn. [He’s] a younger guy so things happen fast but I think he’s been able to adjust and adapt. When he makes mistakes, he’s still out there playing hard. He’s correcting them. He’s a young guy that’s really working hard.”

But then unsolicited, McCourty raved about what it’s been like for veterans like Chung and him to work with a new generation of defensive backs, which now includes Butler, Jones, Richards and Roberts.

“The exciting thing is that we have a ton of rookies in that corner group that have been out here making plays, mini-camp, OTAs, those guys are really learning and they’re not making a ton of mistakes,” McCourty added. “I think it’s really exciting to see them as a group, DBs, safeties and corners.”

While Richards garnered a lot of attention last year and Butler stole the show in Super Bowl XLIX, Roberts was someone who caught the eye of McCourty in mini-camp and OTAs last summer before a wrist injury ended his season in training camp.
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Mike Petraglia, Chris Price talk Pats receivers, end of mini camp

06.09.16 at 5:54 pm ET
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FOXBORO —’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down the 2016 Patriots mini-camp, which finished up Thursday on a wild and windy day at Gillette Stadium. Patriots receivers Aaron Dobson, Malcolm Mitchell, Nate Washington, Chris Hogan and Keshawn Martin all had impressive days, with Dobson and Mitchell standing out.

Read More: Aaron Dobson, Chris Price, Malcolm Mitchell, Mike Petraglia

Even Bill Belichick impressed with the receivers: ‘They’ve all showed up and made plays down the field’

06.09.16 at 4:55 pm ET
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Bill Belichick speaks after mini-camp Thursday. (Mike Petraglia/

Bill Belichick speaks after mini-camp Thursday. (Mike Petraglia/

FOXBORO — This week in minicamp has been a chance for the receivers behind Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola to step up.

According to Bill Belichick after the final mini-camp practice on Thursday, that’s exactly what they’ve done.

The quintet of Aaron Dobson, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, Keshawn Martin and Nate Washington have looked good without the pads on.

All five of those receivers made big plays over the three days, including Dobson and Mitchell, both of whom made acrobatic catches in the end zone for touchdowns. Belichick was taking note.

“Our receivers have been good. We have good competition at that position and they’ve all showed up and made plays down the field, caught the ball well. It’s been good,” Belichick said.

And while Washington is new to the team he’s not new to the type of offense the Patriots run. His experience with former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien in Houston showed up this week, as he looked like a receiver comfortable with the routes.

“[With] Nate, they played it in Houston, so he’s kind of familiar with it,” Belichick said. “Those guys have done a good job. I think our receiver group overall has done well – gotten open, caught the ball. Nate and Keshawn have both done a good job.”

Belichick, meanwhile, surprised no one when he didn’t offer an update on the status of tight end/tackle Michael Williams. The Globe’s Jim McBride reported Thursday that Williams suffered an ACL tear on Wednesday and might be headed to injured reserve.

“I don’t think we’re doing injury reports here,” Belichick said. “Maybe the league will require us to do those.”

One of those who might step forward with Williams out is newcomer Clay Harbor.

“Professional. Works hard. He’s a versatile guy,” Belichick said of Harbor. “He’s done a lot of different things. Philadelphia and Jacksonville, he did the same thing, special teams and offense. Hopefully a number of roles if he can do them and get an opportunity to do them.”

Read More: 2016 mini-camp, Aaron Dobson, Bill Belichick, Clay Harbor



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