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Rob Gronkowski on practice sessions against Darrelle Revis: He’s making me a better player

08.10.14 at 6:30 pm ET
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FOXBORO — One of the most notable scenes in camp this summer has been the sight of Rob Gronkowski working off to the side, catching passes from Tom Brady while working against Darrelle Revis.

The tight end, who continues to work his way back from a season-ending knee surgery, has been a regular presence in pads throughout camp. However, he hasn’t engaged in any 11-on-11 work to this point in the summer. Instead, the closest he’s come has been semi-regular work with Brady, catching passes in a series of drills with the quarterback while Revis offers resistance.

“It’s good just to have a defender out there, instead of [me] just running my routes [against] air,” Gronkowski said following practice on Sunday when asked about working against Revis. “To break off a guy right in front of you, just like it’s a game — you have to break off the guy, break off the defender. Having Darrelle out there and having him give me some contact — a little bit, pushing me on my routes — [it’s] just making me a better player out there right now.”

The work looks a lot like what Brady and former teammate Randy Moss used to do when the receiver was with the Patriots from 2007 through 2010, with the only difference being that those sessions were used to build communication and a rapport between Brady and Moss. The current work between Brady and Gronkowski is another step in the rehab process for the tight end, as well as a chance for Revis to spend some time working against a bigger target like Gronkowski.

“[It’s] basically more of a drill for me, but he’s definitely learning too, I would say,” Gronkowski said. “He’s just breaking a little bit, not going full, full out. He’s just helping me out and getting me back adjusted to having a defender out there in front of me.”

Gronkowski, who did not play in the preseason opener against the Redskins (and missed the three practices leading up to the contest) remains optimistic about the state of his rehab.

“Pretty good. Improving every single week,” Gronkowski said. “No setbacks or anything like that — just going out there and getting better every single time I get out on the field.

“Getting closer every single day to getting in there with the team and getting in there and getting some contact,” he added. “Just talking to the trainers — we don’t have a set date yet or anything. Just taking it day-by-day and we’ll see how tomorrow goes. Just improving every day.”

Read More: 2014 training camp, Darrelle Revis, Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady
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