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Rob Gronkowski: Freed from offseason rehab grind, it’s ‘an honor’ to practice with teammates 06.16.15 at 4:53 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski hasn't had to worry about rehabbing this offseason. (Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski hasn’t had to worry about rehabbing this offseason. (Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — It’s a brave new world for Rob Gronkowski.

Freed from the constraints of rehabbing this offseason, the big tight end has looked strong through the spring workouts, and seems ready to plunge into another dominant year. Saying the chance to practice instead of rehab this offseason is “an honor,” he sounded optimistic about his health heading into the 2015 season.

“I just come out here and do what I have to do — try and get better every single day,” he said following Tuesday’s minicamp workout in t-shirts and shorts on the practice fields behind Gillette. “It’s an honor, after the whole offseason, to come out practice every single day and work on what I have to work on instead of trying to rehab something. It’s excellent. It’s an amazing feeling to just come out here and get better with the whole team throughout the whole summer.”

Throughout the spring workouts, Gronkowski has frequently been paired with new tight end Scott Chandler, an offseason free-agent acquisition from the Bills. A sizable (6-foot-7, 270 pounds) complement to Gronkowski (6-foot-6, 260 pounds), the duo has the potential to be a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses this season.

“It’s great,” he said of the chance to work with Chandler, who has 182 catches in his seven seasons in the NFL. “Whoever is out there on the field, it’s a pleasure to work with, because all the players work hard here, especially Scott. Just coming in here every single day, (Chandler) being in the tight end room, being in meetings together and out on the field. He’s a hard worker, and it’s always great to be able to work with another hard worker out there — someone who will keep you motivated.

“You help each other out. You’re in the meetings. You get a feel for each other. It’s great going out there and having another tight end on your side, because you get to help each other out. You know how each other plays, you know how each other thinks, because you’ve been together for so long — in the meeting rooms and on the field. It’s always great to have another tight end out there by your side and helping each other out.”

Gronkowski made a splash at the ring ceremony on Sunday, dancing the night away with his teammates. Asked about the jewelry and the party, he smiled.

“We’re on to minicamp, baby,” he said. “Another week, another day to get better, and another day to work hard.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Rob Gronkowski, Scott Chandler,
Thursday OTA notes: Return of Malcolm Butler highlights workout 06.11.15 at 2:21 pm ET
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Jimmy Garoppolo fires a pass Thursday during OTA workouts at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Jimmy Garoppolo fires a pass Thursday during OTA workouts at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — The return of Malcolm Butler was the big story at Thursday’s OTA session, as the cornerback returned to the field after some time on the sidelines, and declared that he didn’t “miss a step.” Clad in a cutoff short and shorts, the Super Bowl hero went through a series of drills with his teammates on a warm day in back of Gillette Stadium. Here are a few notes on the practice, which ran from roughly 11 a.m. to 12:45 on the practice fields.

It was a relatively light workout in comparison to the two other OTA sessions the media witnessed. There was little 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work — at quarterback, most of that most of that was given to third-stringer Garrett Gilbert. Tom Brady looked sharp in 11-on-11 work, only missing on one of his dozen pass attempts.

Butler jumped right back into the mix, taking that appeared to be a usual number of reps at cornerback, and didn’t appear to have missed a beat. He drew a big group of reporters after the workout, and talked about his absence over the previous couple of weeks.

Per usual, there were no numbers, so identifying players was tough. However, we didn’t see the following individuals on the field: Matthew Slater, Jamie Collins, Sealver Siliga, Dont’a Hightower, Jerod Mayo, Brandon LaFell, Dane Fletcher, Sebastian Vollmer, Chandler and Chris Jones, Ryan Wendell and Alan Branch.

Like last week, Rob Gronkowski and Scott Chandler spent time working together off to the side while the rest of the team went through kickoff drills. And like last week, it appeared that most of the work was focused on the red zone and goal-line situations. It bears repeating that the sizable duo will create some matchup issues all over the field, but particularly at the goal line.

There was a second kicker on the field working with the special teamers. Not sure who he is yet — hopefully, there will be some clarity on that sooner rather than later. Speaking of special teamers, Danny Amendola was again part of a group that spent time returning kicks, a collection that included Josh Boyce.

Former Patriot Sammy Morris was on the field working with the running backs.

Read More: Danny Amendola, Malcolm Butler, Rob Gronkowski, Sammy Morris
Rob Gronkowski leads way at annual ‘Buzz Off’ at Gillette 06.08.15 at 11:32 am ET
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When it comes to his off-field exploits, there are a lot of reasons to goof on Rob Gronkowski, but the big tight end does a ton of legitimate charity work. And on Sunday, he was at Gillette Stadium, for the One Mission Buzz Off for Kids with Cancer. He’s been a regular attendee the last few years, and by the looks of things, he was all in again this time around.

Read More: Rob Gronkowski,
Rob Gronkowski: ‘[Tom Brady] comes out here and competes every single day like nothing happened’ 05.29.15 at 4:41 pm ET
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FOXBORO — With Friday being the first OTA session with media access, and first team activity since the Wells Report and subsequent penalties were handed down, there were sure to be a lot of questions asked about quarterback Tom Brady.

Many of the players, including Rob Gronkowski, didn’t address the topic, simply discussing the team getting ready for the upcoming season.

“My take is that I just gotta keep on doing what I need to do and that’€™s preparing every day coming out here and working as hard as I can,” Gronkowski said. “Doing my job out on the field every single day. Whatever goes on with him doesn’€™t affect how I play or I prepare. I’€™m just really worried about myself right now and what I have to do to help the team out.”

The Patriots tight end, who did quite a bit of work with Brady off to the side on goal line work, was asked if he noticed anything different about the quarterback given he’s suspended for the first four games.

“No difference,” Gronkowksi said. ‘€œHe comes out here and competes every single day like nothing happened.”

Friday certainly won’t be the only time Gronkowski and his teammates will be asked about their quarterback and their thoughts on Deflategate. Gronkowski explained his mindset with how to handle that.

“When there’€™s outside distractions, you gotta block ‘€˜em out,” said Gronkowski. “You gotta come out on the field, you gotta do what you gotta do to help the team out. Just block everything out, come in the stadium like nothing’€™s going on and work hard in the weight room, on the field, in the playbook, wherever it is.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Deflategate, Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady,
Rob Gronkowski won’t be on Madden NFL 2016 cover, Odell Beckham Jr. earns more votes 05.13.15 at 6:58 pm ET
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If you believe in the Madden curse, don’t worry.

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was a finalist for the cover, but Odell Beckham Jr. defeated the Patriots tight end in a close vote revealed on Wednesday’s 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter. Beckham Jr. will be on the cover of Madden NFL 2016, becoming the youngest athlete to appear on the cover in its history.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Odell Beckham Jr., Rob Gronkowski,
Rob Gronkowski: Tom Brady has ‘full support from myself and the organization’ at 12:37 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski said Wednesday afternoon that Tom Brady has “full support from myself and the organization” in the wake of the announcement that the Patriots quarterback will be suspended for four games for his involvement in Deflategate.

Gronkowski. who was on ESPN promoting the fact that he was a finalist in the Madden 16 cover vote, was also asked if he thought the punishment was too harsh.

“It is what it is,” he shrugged. “The only thing I can do is make myself get better and prepare for the new season.”

Gronkowski expressed confidence in backup Jimmy Garoppolo, who would likely become the short-term starter in place of Brady. However, he acknowledged the importance of having Brady in the lineup on a regular basis.

“We definitely want (Brady) in the locker room, because he’s our team leader,” Gronkowski added.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Deflategate, Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady,
Rob Gronkowski finalist for Madden NFL 16 cover 05.12.15 at 4:47 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski could soon add something else to his resume — being on the cover of Madden.

The Patriots tight end is a finalist for the Madden NFL 16 cover, which will be revealed on Wednesday’s 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter. Gronkowski is a finalist with Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

Fans can cast their vote for either player starting Wednesday on ESPN.com at 9 a.m. ET.

Read More: Odell Beckham Jr., Rob Gronkowski,
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