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Rob Gronkowski returns to Patriots practice, first appearance since pulling up Aug. 15 08.24.16 at 3:42 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski

FOXBORO — Rob Gronkowski returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since pulling up with an apparent lower body injury Aug. 15 against the Bears.

The Patriots star tight end went through individual football drills after stretching with the team, the first time he’s been cleared to do that since going out on a sideline route and pulling up lame when going up for a pass from Tom Brady.

Before practice, Gronkowski had some fun on social media, taking a jab at the Cowboys for lifting the “Do Your Job” credo from the Patriots of 2014. He tweeted, “Hmm, the Cowboys’ new slogan sounds familiar … What are your thoughts??? #DoYourJobGate.

The Patriots worked out in shorts and shells on the upper grass fields outside Gillette Stadium.

Among those missing were Shaq Mason, Jonathan Cooper, Alan Branch, Dion Lewis and Sebastian Vollmer.

Danny Amendola was again on hand for stretching but not with a helmet or shoulder shells, like the rest of the team, as he remains on the PUP list.

Amendola joined a group of Patriots that stretched and then went down the hill to the lower field to continue their work, separate from the team. Joining Amendola on the lower field were Malcolm Mitchell, Shea McClellin, Jabaal Sheard and Tre’ Jackson.

There was a special guest on hand as rock star Jon Bon Jovi attended practice and chatted with Patriots owner Robert Kraft during the media portion of practice. Bon Jovi’s music was playing on the speakers during stretching.

Bon Jovi’s former Arena League team, the Philadelphia Soul will battle the Arizona Rattlers this Friday in Arena Bowl XXIX at the same time Bill Belichick’s Patriots will play the Carolina Panthers in the third preseason game.

Read More: Gronk, New England Patriots, Rob Gronkowski,
Bill Belichick thinks TE group as good ‘as we’ve ever had here’ 08.03.16 at 5:39 pm ET
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Jul 28, 2016; Foxboro, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) runs drills during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Gronkowski runs drills during training camp at Gillette Stadium. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — No one has better perspective or appreciation of great tight ends than Bill Belichick.

This is a coach who watched Mark Bavaro dominate in the 1980s with the Giants when Belichick was the defensive coordinator of two Super Bowl championship teams.

Belichick was on hand for the end of Ozzie Newsome’s career in Cleveland and was so impressed that he found a way to keep him on his staff and teach him what he knew. Now, Newsome has two Super Bowl rings as a player personnel chief in Baltimore.

And it was Belichick who drafted Rob Gronkowski and has watched him develop into the best and most feared tight end in football.

What could make it any better?

Bringing in a tight end in Martellus Bennett who could help the Patriots become an virtual unstoppable force off the line of scrimmage. Throw in lunch pail guys like Bear Pascoe, Clay Harbor, Bryce Williams, Steven Scheu and A.J. Derby and you have Belichick pumping the tires of the entire group.

“I think Bryce has come in and done a good job. [He’s] got a lot to learn. It’s a big adjustment for him,” Belichick said. “I think all three of the tight ends, including [A.J.] Derby, who really had very few snaps last year, but A.J., and [Steven] Scheu and Bryce have all done a good job. It’s been probably as good of a tight end situation, overall from top to bottom, as we’ve ever had here. The guys are all competitive; they can all do enough things to be competitive. But Bryce has done a good job catching the ball well. He’s got good ball skills, has a receiver background, but you can kind of see that watching him play. It shows up out there.”

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Read More: 2016 training camp, Aaron Hernandez, Bill Belichick, Gronk
Martellus Bennett really loving life with Rob Gronkowski, beams, ‘Gronk is really [expletive] good’ at 1:53 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Martellus Bennett is really liking his decision to come to New England and play alongside Rob Gronkowski so far.

Just a week into camp, Bennett can already see the potential of working with No. 87 on the field.

Bennett got a little taste of it in the spring during OTAs and mini-camp.

But with the full pads on, he can see just why Tom Brady-to-Rob Gronkowski has become the most fearsome passing combination in the NFL.

“Gronk? Gronk is really [expletive] good,” Bennett said Wednesday. “It’s been a pleasure playing with him. I think we’ve been raising each other’s game. He does some things very well and do some things different. The thing is, we’re built alike but we’re two totally different players, the way we run routes [and] the way we go about our business is totally different.

“It’s been very fun playing [playing with him] because he’s very passionate and he brings it every single day, in meetings, on the field. And he’s just been a joy to play with because he’s one of those guys that makes you up your game and I try to do the same for him.”

Gronkowski and Bennett are both 6-foot-6 while Gronk is listed 10 pounds lighter at 265 pounds.

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Read More: Gronk, Martellus Bennett, New England Patriots, Rob Gronkowski
Rob Gronkowski gets wound up in the rain, celebrates with fans, then declares ‘I’m making dinner tonight, baby!’ 07.31.16 at 2:06 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Maybe it was the occasion of seeing his representatives from Drew Rosenhaus Sports on hand for practice. Maybe it was catching TD passes from Tom Brady or maybe it was just having fun in the rain, but Rob Gronkowski was in rare form after practice Sunday.

“I’m making dinner tonight, baby!” he declared as he stepped to the podium on the edge of the practice field, just four days after his epic “scrambled eggs” line at the end of practice on Thursday.

Gronkowski was in some sort of mood Sunday, the second day of full pads practice.

He caught of pair of touchdown passes in red area drills, firing one of them into the sponsors tent at the end of the stands. Realizing this, he raced over to make sure no one was hurt watching him in full Gronk mode.

“After that first play, I accidentally threw the ball and I wasn’t sure if I hit someone or not,” he said. “But I didn’t. It was all good. I was making sure someone wasn’t paying attention. The next time I scored right there, I ran by, saw them all cheering, so I was like, ‘Why not go high-5 them?’ So, they were all excited. It’s cool to get the crowd involved, get the energy up. I felt like I did.”

Gronkowski’s grab was followed up by a nice TD catch from Martellus Bennett and pandemonium and chest bumps ensued. Just pure joy from the tight end group.

“It was super-exciting to see him go out there after I made a couple of big catches and then he went and made a big catch,” Gronkowski said. “It’s great to see that, other players out there making big plays. It’s all about a team coming together and celebrating together after. It was super-cool and it’s awesome to see things like that.

“It gets me excited just to see everyone making plays. We had a couple of running backs make some nice runs and put it into the end zone. We had a couple of other receivers making the one-handed grabs the past few days, which are super nice. So, it’s all going well. We’re all here for the fun of it, for the grind. We understand if they make a play, you see them celebrating. It’s part of the competition. If you don’t want them celebrating, make a play and stop them. If they don’t want us to celebrate, they’ve got to stop us. It goes both ways. That’s what’s cool about it.”

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Read More: 2016 training camp, Gronk, New England Patriots, nfl
Rob Gronkowski on his return to field: ‘Everything’s all smooth. Everything’s good’ 06.13.16 at 2:05 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The smile told it all Monday afternoon outside Gillette Stadium.

Rob Gronkowski broke into his trademark grin as he addressed reporters for the second time in three days but for the first time since returning to the practice field Monday during OTAs.

“It felt great. It’s always good to be out there with your teammates, working with your teammates in individual drills, team drills,” Gronkowski said. “Just being out there, getting on the same page and just going into a flow with them. It’s always good to get back on the field.”

Gronkowski spent most of the session working on passing drills with Tom Brady and new tight end Martellus Bennett. Then he took some turns lining up in two-minute drills with no defense. He took part in a limited number of reps with the offense as they lined up in the non-contact, no pads practice against the defense.

Gronkowski also indicated, when asked, that last week’s absence at mandatory mini-camp was not necessarily injury-related and that he was with the team at Gillette Stadium.

“I was just doing other things, as Coach said, last week,” Gronkowski said. “Everything’s good. We were just working on other things. Everything’s all smooth, everything’s good.”

So what, exactly, is the biggest value at this point of OTAs to him?

“The biggest value is consistency, going out there and making sure you’re still on the same page,” he said. “You don’t want to lose it. You want to keep on getting gains. You want to improve on improving, go out there and make sure to knock all the rust out, we’re always on the same page and just don’t lose it. So, keep going out, working hard and getting better.”

Gronkowski said this year doesn’t feel any different than any other spring OTA sessions since he’s been in New England.

“It’s OTAs. It feels the same every time now, every year, so just go out there, keep your football legs under you, which is great, running routes, stay in football shape,” Gronkowski said. “What is cool about it is it brings the competitiveness out of you. You just can’t go out there in your backyard or just out on the field and just throwing with the quarterbacks. Going versus someone, having someone across from you gets you back in that right feeling, like it’s a game.”

Gronkowski said he’s pumped about sharing time with Bennett.

“It’s great. It’s great to be out there with him,” he said. “It’s another guy that brings a lot of football knowledge to the game, in the meeting rooms. I think he’s going on his ninth year. He has so much experience and he’s been with a few teams, been with a few coaches. He’s played all around. So, it’s great to get so much knowledge from him and the coaches. And going out on the field, he’s a hard worker. He puts some dedication in so it’s great to be with him out there.”

Read More: Gronk, Martellus Bennett, New England Patriots, OTA's
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 — WEEI.com’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.

Read More: 2016 minicamp, Aaron Dobson, Gronk, Jimmy Garoppolo
Luke Kuechly thinks Doug Flutie ‘is still the guy’ at Boston College 02.04.16 at 5:36 pm ET
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Luke Kuechly speaks Thursday at the final media availability in San Jose. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Luke Kuechly speaks Thursday at the final media availability in San Jose. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

SAN JOSE, Calif. — As he was making his rounds through both the Broncos and Panthers media camps on Thursday, Snoop Dogg made a point to stop by and say hi to Luke Kuechly and pay him some might high praise.

“You’re the best linebacker in football, man,” the rap legend said. “Take it from Snoop.”

All the humble linebacker could muster with a wide grin was “thanks, thanks a lot!”

Snoop is not alone. There are many in the game right now, both on and off the field who think that the Boston College product might just be the best all-around linebacker in football. That has prompted the conversation of where Kuechly, who left after his junior year in 2012, belongs in the great pantheon of Boston College football players. Matt Ryan was selected by the Falcons third overall in 2008. Four years later, it was Kuechly going ninth overall to the Panthers.

“I don’t know about the best player. We’ve had a lot of good guys come out. We’ve had some linebackers that have come out. Bill Romanowski was a great player. Mark Herzlich‘s been a great player. Matt Ryan and Gosder Cherilus and Anthony Castonzo and I’m sure I’m missing guys. Those guys came out and did a great job.”

But of all the great NFL talent that Boston College has produced, Kuechly pointed to another BC product that had a much bigger impact in the CFL than the NFL.

“Doug Flutie to me is Mr. BC,” Kuechly said. “He’s got a statue in front of the stadium. He’s won the Heisman. He’s going to go down as one of the players that has one of the all-time plays in college football history. Doug Flutie, if you talk about people from Boston College, Doug Flutie, I think, is still the guy.”

While that was all nice and flowery, there are a lot of Patriots fans who still fume when they see the All-American smile. That’s, of course, because of his WWE hold on Rob Gronkowski in the end zone on the game’s last play in Nov. 2013 on a Monday night game that allowed the Panthers to escape, 24-20.

“”Of course, of course, everyone was giving me grief for it,” Kuechly said. “We had a couple of guys that we played with that are Massachusetts guys that are big Patriots fans. You go to school in Boston, there are going to be buddies that are off the team that you’re friends with so. They’re giving me some grief for it but it’s all fun and games.”

Read More: Boston College, Carolina Panthers, Doug Flutie, Gronk
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