|Mike Petraglia, Chris Price talk Darrelle Revis, Richard Sherman, Rob Gronkowski from Phoenix||01.28.15 at 6:28 pm ET|
PHOENIX — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Day 3 of Patriots Super Bowl week in Phoenix, including the latest on Darrelle Revis, Richard Sherman, LeGarrette Blount, Rob Gronkowski and Bill Belichick.
The Patriots coach Wednesday gave the tight end props for the way he’s battled back from numerous injuries that slowed him between 2011 and 2013. The sprained ankle hindered his 2011 Super Bowl against the Giants. His broken forearm kept him out of the 2012 AFC championship and a torn ACL forced him to miss the 2013 AFC title game.
Belichick hinted Wednesday that Gronk’s enthusiasm and love of the game has been one of the factors in helping him get back on the field to such a high level.
“Rob always has a great energy and enthusiasm for the game, is always ready to go, loves to practice, loves to work, works hard in the weight room, competes well all the time,” Belichick said. “You never really have to get on Rob and go, ‘You know, that wasn’t your best,’ or that kind of thing. He’s always out there working hard. But I do think that being said, there’s maybe just a little extra level there, just like what you referred to. Coming back multiple times, he’s come back from various setbacks, and I think the fact that it’s gone well, that he continues to feel better and better each week.”
As Gronkowski pointed out Wednesday, there are those who underestimate his intensity for the game because he’s portrayed as a partier. But Belichick knows better. The coach said there’s not a harder worker on the team than No. 87.
“I think that certainly any time you either lose something or go without something for a little while, you have that appreciation when you’re able to regain it or even possibly move up to a little bit higher level, which I would say probably is the case with him. His hard work and diligence in all areas from training to technique to just a lot of little things.
“And I think that he and (tight ends) Coach (Brian) Daboll have a great relationship and Brian’s done a great job with all of our tight ends, but obviously Rob in particular. But there are a lot of little coaching points that ‘ things that Rob does better now than he did a year ago or two years ago. Part of that’s experience, part of that’s just a little bit better understanding and harder work on those little things ‘ they become big things. But, you know, in the end, the credit goes to Rob. He works hard, he competes well, he listens, we tell him to do something and he really tries hard to do it. I have tremendous respect for Rob and the way he goes about his job.”
CHANDLER, Ariz. — Rob Gronkowski is a kid at heart.
The 25-year-old star tight end is as outgoing as anyone, always wanting to talk and laugh with anyone who will listen and does more charitable events than anyone on the team.
Because of his personality, Gronkowski sometimes gets a bad rap that he doesn’t take football as serious as he should.
Gronkowski responded to those people on Wednesday.
“I feel like they underestimate the hard work and dedication behind the scenes for everyone,” Gronkowski said. “Just going in the weight room when it’s your time to work out, the meetings behind the scenes, the practicing during the week. I mean, I feel like some people just look at it like you go out there on game day and play, but that’s not really the case.
“You always have to be taking care of your body throughout the whole week, in the morning and all the way through nighttime, getting sleep. So, people kind of underestimate the hard work and dedication that goes into the week to get prepared for the games on Sunday.”
Julian Edelman says it’s rare but occasionally Gronk will actually reach that next level of anger.
“There’s only a few times when you when you see him angry,” Edelman said. “I can’t put it down on a spot when it was. When he gets angry, it’s scary. He’s a big guy that’s strong, powerful and he’s like a big old baby. But once you tick him off, you better get out of the way.”
His work ethic was shown this past offseason as Gronkowski suffered a torn ACL in a December game and was ready to go for the team’s first day of training camp this past summer and was active for Week 1 of the regular season. That injury wasn’t his first major injury either, as he’s battled back and elbow injuries over the course of his career.
“I’ve been through a lot, for sure,” said Gronkowski. “They’re all the worst. You never want to be injured, no doubt. You always want to be out on the field with your teammates. I really don’t have one that I’ve played with like bad — I just go out there and play. Every time I step out onto the field I’m ready to go.”
With that being said, Gronkowski still takes some time to let loose and have some fun, which sometimes gets criticized in the media.
So, why is it made such a big deal when he goes out and parties?
“Because I’m a baller? Is that a good answer?” he said.
Edelman was asked if he were excluded from Gronk’s “Party Bus” since Gronk said there were “no dudes allowed” on it.
“Nah. I don’t think that means teammates,” Edelman said. “He’s a beaut. He’s a beaut. There are so many funny things that guy does. It’s unbelievable. I look at him right now and I laugh, just the way he answers questions. He’s a funny guy.”
|Rob Gronkowski, 100 percent healthy for Super Bowl: ‘Can’t tell you how excited I am for the game’||01.27.15 at 7:53 pm ET|
PHOENIX — The last time the Patriots were in the Super Bowl was 2012 and Rob Gronkowski was not healthy.
The star tight end had injured his ankle in the second half of the AFC championship game against the Ravens, and clearly wasn’t 100 percent for the game. Gronkowski finished the game with just three catches for 26 yards and the Patriots fell to the Giants, 21-17.
“We’re just looking at this Super Bowl,” said Gronkowski. “I’m just worried about this one right now. Preparing all week, feeling good, feeling great, feeling healthy. That’s key. Just working hard in the week and we start practice back up tomorrow down here. I’m super excited about that. Can’t tell you how excited I am for the game.”
For the first time since 2011, Gronkowski played in 15 or more games. He hasn’t played a full season since that year, and although he didn’t this year, he could very well have as he was a healthy scratch for Week 17’s game against the Bills, as the game meant nothing for the playoffs.
“It’s definitely a tough experience, man,” Gronkowski said of being injured and missing games. “Definitely don’t take the game for granted anymore. It’s an honor to be out there on the field with my teammates and all. Throughout the whole year, especially this time of the year, going to the Super Bowl, being out on the practice field, helping my team do its job and just going out and practicing hard. I’m super excited for this game Sunday.”
As expected, the very outgoing tight end with a bubbly personality was asked a number of off beat questions, including singing a Katy Perry song. He also said he is the best dancer on the team and Julian Edelman is the worst.
He also did say the now famous Gronkowski party bus will be in Arizona come the weekend.
“It’s on its way down right now,” he said. “Body Armor wrapped it up in this thing. It can’t get into the parking lot in Gillette because of the Body Armor sponsor, but it’s all good. It’s on it’s way down here. I’m sure there will be some pictures with it and all that good stuff.”
PHOENIX — Figure skating champions Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, working for NBC Sports while at Super Bowl XLIX, spent plenty of time speaking with the Patriots at Tuesday’s media day, and came away impressed enough to say they’re rooting for New England in the Super Bowl.
The two interviewed several members of the Patriots, but came away most excited by tight end Rob Gronkowski.
“We just met him. We love Rob. Everything is about Rob right now,” Lipinski said, before adding that the Patriots, “were awesome.”
“Rob Gronkowski is such a gentleman. He’s so handsome and so tall and so kind,” Weir said. “We loved meeting all of them. We’re rooting for the Patriots.”
|Rob Gronkowski says ‘thank you’ to Jeremy Lane for his critique of TE||01.23.15 at 2:52 pm ET|
For that reason, he took the high road on Friday when asked for his reaction to the scouting report from Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane that Gronk is “not that good a player.”
“Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion,” Gronkowski said. “They’ve got a great defense overall. We’ve got to be worried about their whole defense. We’ve got to be sure we practice hard, prepare hard all week so we’re ready to roll.”
Does it tick Gronkowski off? Will it motivate him?
“I just keep doing what I’ve got to do.” Gronkowski said. “I’ve just got to keep working hard at practice, keep bringing it at practice, keep preparing. Just keep getting ready, because it’s not just one player on their defense, there’s 11 guys out there at the same time. It’s not just 11, they’ve got the backups, too. So I’ve got to prepare for their whole defense, no doubt about that.
“I’ve got much respect for the Seattle Seahawks throughout their whole team. Just got to keep working hard and practicing and getting ready for the game. Bring it out there on the field.”
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|Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner on Patriots’ ‘weird’ formations: ‘It’s something sneaky that they try to do’||01.22.15 at 9:59 pm ET|
The Patriots are a difficult team to prepare for as a defense — you don’t know if they will rely on their run, or rely on their pass.
In New England’s divisional round game against the Ravens, the Patriots passed the ball 51 times, compared to only 13 runs. In the AFC championship against the Colts, the team ran the ball 40 times and threw it 35 times. This keeps the opposing defense on their heels.
“I think we approach the game the same as we approach every game,” Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “We don’t personally care what you’re going to try to do. Once we figure out what you’re trying to do ‘ we’re going to adjust to it. If they want to run the ball out — we will be ready. If they want to pass the ball out — we will be ready. If they want to run screens and stuff like that — we are going to be ready. I don’t really care what they want to do.”
The Patriots have added some new formations in their two playoff wins. Against the Ravens they had an eligible receiver line up as ineligible on a few plays, and then against the Colts they had tackle eligible Nate Solder catch a touchdown pass.
Wagner says they will be prepared for it when asked if they spent any extra time on the Patriots’ “weird” formations.
“Yeah, we will be prepared for it,” said Wagner. “It’s something sneaky that they try to do. They will mix it in a point in the game where maybe the other teams are tired but we don’t get tired.”
“I mean he’s a very good receiver but when he’s on the field with us, I don’t know if he’s going to be that open,” said Wagner.
On Wednesday, Richard Sherman claimed Tom Brady was actually the one who started the trash talking during their last meeting in 2012, a 24-23 Seahawks win. Wagner was a rookie in the game and he said Brady was doing some talking.
“He was talking some trash but I mean everybody talks trash,” Wagner said. “It’s a fun game. It’s all within the lines. Everybody is always talking a little smack — it’s part of the game.”