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Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski land coveted spots in NFL Network’s ‘Top 100′ list 06.30.16 at 1:36 pm ET
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Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have landed in the Top 10 of the NFL Network’s “Top 100 Players of 2016.”

The order of the top 10 will be revealed in the finale of this year’s series, set to air July 6 at 8 p.m. on NFL Network.

Odell Beckham Jr., Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Luke Kuechly, Cam Newton, Adrian Peterson, Aaron Rodgers and J.J. Watt are the other players in the top 10.

Brady and Gronkowski will be the second and third members of the Patriots in the Top 100. Teammate Julian Edelman was ranked 87th.

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

Read More: Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady,
Look out, James Develin: Rob Gronkowski says James Corden could be a fullback 06.24.16 at 3:13 pm ET
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On “The Late Late Show” Thursday night, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski talked football with host James Corden and fellow guest Luke Wilson. In this clip, Gronkowski sizes up Corden as a potential fullback.

Read More: because it's the offseason, Rob Gronkowski,
Marcus Cannon, Terrance Knighton will be part of NFL edition of ‘Celebrity Family Feud’ next month 06.23.16 at 1:35 pm ET
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Marcus Cannon

Marcus Cannon

Marcus Cannon and Terrance Knighton are slated to appear on an NFL edition of “Celebrity Family Feud” later this summer, it was announced Thursday by the NFLPA.

Cannon will be a part of the AFC roster, while Knighton (who played for the Redskins last season), will be a part of the NFC squad. The two contests, which were taped earlier this offseason, will help raise money for charity. The first show will have the AFC Offense, playing for Active Minds, compete against the NFC Defense, playing for Got Your 6. The second episode will have the AFC Defense, playing for Still Strong Foundation, compete against the NFC Offense, playing for Professional Athletes Foundation (PAF).

Cannon’s teammates will include Brandon Marshall of the Jets and Steve Smith Sr. of the Ravens. Knighton will be a part of an NFC team that includes Tyrann Mathieu of the Cardinals and Cliff Avril of the Seahawks.

Of course, this isn’t the first time the Patriots have been involved in “Celebrity Family Feud.” Last summer Rob Gronkowski and his family were a part of the show.

This year’s shows will air back-to-back on July 3 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Read More: because it's the offseason, Marcus Cannon, Rob Gronkowski, Terrance Knighton
10 questions for Patriots as summer begins 06.14.16 at 3:51 pm ET
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Tom Brady and the Patriots are just about done with spring workouts. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady and the Patriots are just about done with spring workouts. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

With the spring OTAs coming to an end this week and minicamp done, here are 10 questions — in no particular order — we still have about the Patriots as the countdown to late July and training camp begins.

1. How soon can Julian Edelman return to full strength?

If you spend time obsessively monitoring social media, it appears there is some progress when it comes to the health of Edelman. He was healthy, he was in a walking boot (for some sort of procedure on the same foot he injured late last season) and now, it appears he’s out of the boot. He wasn’t on the field all spring, at least in the workouts the media got to see. It’s not like he needs a ton of reps to get up to speed with Tom Brady, but from this perspective, getting him on the field sooner rather than later would eliminate some of the uncertainty around his situation.

2. Was Aaron Dobson’s performance a tease, or something he can build on?

There were a ton of familiar faces on the offensive side of the ball missing from minicamp, but Dobson was the guy who did the best to take advantage of the opportunities he was given. He pretty much caught everything that was thrown in his direction over the course of the three days, but what impressed us the most was his compete level when going against cornerbacks. He consistently won the one-on-one battles, and flashed some moments of real talent. For a guy who has been a non-factor the last two years, the question is now whether or not he can build on that going forward into training camp as he continues to fight an uphill battle for a roster spot at the back end of the receivers’ depth chart.

3. Is Rob Gronkowski right when it comes to Jimmy Garoppolo?

We spend a lot of time talking to people like Gronkowski and Jeff Christiansen who know more than we do about Garoppolo and his development, and they all seem to believe that he’s ready to step in to start the year if Brady is sidelined because of Deflategate. And he certainly looked the part over the course of the spring workouts — while the Patriots’ didn’t necessarily increase his workload, he looked confident and polished, at least in the sessions that were open to the media. But the truth of the matter is that there’s no way of knowing what sort of quarterback Garoppolo will be when asked to take significant snaps. As Christiansen said, the opener on the road against the Cardinals would be a challenge for any signal-caller, but at the same time, three consecutive home games would appear to set up relatively nicely for the Eastern Illinois product. Ultimately, it’s a great unknown. Like Christiansen said, that’s why we buy the tickets, right?

4. Will we get some closure on Deflategate?

We are still waiting for the other shoe to drop when it comes to the en banc hearing, which means — as of this writing — there’s still uncertainly around the quarterback position for the first four games of the regular season. Short answer? The Patriots would love some clarity at quarterback sooner rather than later. For what it’s worth, they didn’t appear to deviate from the norm when it came to quarterback reps over the course of the spring workouts that were attended by the media, as it went Brady, Garoppolo and rookie Jacoby Brissett.

5. Can Cyrus Jones step in and start at nickel corner?

Over the course of the spring workouts — both minicamp and OTAs — it was hard not to notice how comfortable the rookie out of Alabama looked while playing alongside starting defensive backs like Malcolm Butler and Devin McCourty. At this stage of the offseason, when it comes to first-year players, all you’re looking for is that they aren’t consistent error-repeaters. And while it was hard to judge defense because there were no pads on, Jones looked to have no issues when it came to keeping up with the veterans. He’ll certainly bear watching when training camp comes around, but at this point, he appears to be headed in the right direction as a third/nickel corner. In addition, with no Edelman or Danny Amendola on the field, he had plenty of chances to work as a punt returner. While he bobbled a few, he looks like he’s certainly going to be part of the conversation at that position in 2016.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Cyrus Jones, Dante Scarnecchia, Deflategate, Dion Lewis
Rob Gronkowski: There’s been ‘huge development’ in Jimmy Garoppolo’s game last two years at 8:55 am ET
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Jimmy Garoppolo has a fan in Rob Gronkowski. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Jimmy Garoppolo has a fan in Rob Gronkowski. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — While there’s some uncertainty around the Patriots quarterback position for the first four games of the season, it sounds like Rob Gronkowski believes New England will be in good hands if it has to turn to Jimmy Garoppolo.

The big tight end talked Monday about the progress Garoppolo has made, and sounds like someone who would believe in the Eastern Illinois product if he has to start the first four games of the year in place of Tom Brady.

“He’s doing great — definitely,” Gronkowski said of Garoppolo. “You can see a huge development over the last two years in the way he handles the offense now. He’s doing a great job going out there, listening to coaches and just working together with the whole team.”

That’s not to say he’s lost faith in Brady. Gronkowski, who arrived in 2010, is the senior member of the Patriots’ skill positional group, and he said the quarterback looks like pretty much the same guy since the tight end was a rookie.

“He looks pretty good. No, he look’s great,” Gronkowski said. “He looks the same every day that I’ve been here. He’s always coming out with a competitive edge, his arm always looks strong. His football knowledge, you don’t have to talk about it, it’s second to none. He looks very sharp.”

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

Read More: Jimmy Garoppolo, Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady,
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
Rob Gronkowski, Dion Lewis present at final Patriots OTA session at 11:25 am ET
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There were two new faces on the field Monday for the Patriots at their final OTA session open to the media.

After missing all of minicamp last week, Rob Gronkowski was out on the field, as was Dion Lewis. Lewis is coming off ACL surgery last November, so it appears his recovery is going well.

Offensive lineman Shaq Mason was also present for the first time this spring.

Here is video of Gronkowski catching a pass from Tom Brady.

Read More: Dion Lewis, Rob Gronkowski,

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