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Does this look like a guy unhappy about anything?
Tight end Rob Gronkowski talked to reporters yesterday after being a "limited" participant in practice once again. The big tight end steadfastly denied reports of a growing rift between himself and the team over his return from a multitude of forearm and back surgeries.
''We were on the same page from the very get-go. We're still on the same page. It's going good. I'm progressing every week. I'm feeling better every week, getting stronger every week, and getting in better condition every week. I'm still sticking to the motto, day-by-day . . . it's going good.''
Gronk was non-committal about a potential return this week against Cincinnati. Recent reports have speculated that the All Pro tight end is targeting a Week 6 return, despite the fact that he reportedly has looked game ready in practice.

“When I'm ready, I'm ready. I mean, if it's this Sunday, next Sunday, or the Sunday after, it's just going day-by-day. So I really couldn't tell you when it's going to be. So it's kind of hard to answer that. I'm just progressing every day, working hard every day and feeling better every day. I'm going out to practice, and working as hard as I can, practicing with my teammates.''
Gronk also acknowledged that there has been an adjustment period as he tries to prepare himself for regular season action. Unlike his teammates, Gronk did not have the luxury of training camp to get his timing in the offense down.

''I'm just going out to practice with the team. It's helpful every single week to get chemistry back down, to get the timing of football down. And being out of football, the first couple days out there, I can't lie, it was like, 'Wow, I felt like a rookie. The speed was so quick.' But everything's catching back up. Everything's going good. Everyone is doing fine. It's just a normal week working hard and getting better.''
Is there any truth to rumors of Gronk (and Papa Gronk's) discontent with the team? It's possible, but it's hard to imagine this being more than a minor blip on the radar screen. Once Gronk is fully healthy and catching touchdowns from Tom Brady again, I have a feeling that all will be forgiven from both parties. It helps that Gronk is known for being a gym rat who gives his absolute all whether training or playing (or partying, but that's a different matter).

It's also important to consider the source of this rumor. Not only does the Boston Herald continue to employ Ron Borges despite his inability to cover the team without a seething anti-Belichick bias, but they were also the ones to publish an erroneous and unsubstantiated report accusing the Patriots of taping a Rams walkthrough prior to Super Bowl XXXVI. Patriots fans have plenty of reason to view any report coming from the Herald with a Vince Wilfork-sized grain of salt.


Personally, it makes little sense to me why the Pats would be at odds with Gronk being a little extra cautious with his return. Whether they choose to publicly admit it or not, they clearly made a mistake by bringing Gronkowski back before he was ready last year. That was after he had undergone one surgery, not five. Why they wouldn't take the extra time to make sure their best offensive player (besides Brady, of course) is 100% healthy is beyond me, especially with the team sitting pretty at 4-0.

Furthermore, the absence of Gronk has forced Brady to develop chemistry with some of his other weapons, especially Kenbrell Thompkins. It's unlikely Thompkins would have gotten the amount of reps and targets he has if Gronk was on the field, but that experience his growing chemistry with Brady could prove invaluable later in the year. Why not continue to let Gronk get stronger for another week while further developing Brady's connection with Thompkins (and possibly Dobson, Boyce and new addition Austin Collie)? You risk dropping to 4-1, but that seems to be a loss worth risking considering the team's bigger, long-term goals for the season.
When I'm ready, I'm ready. I mean, if it's this Sunday, next Sunday, or the Sunday after, it's just going day-by-day,'' he said. ''So I really couldn't tell you when it's going to be. So it's kind of hard to answer that. I'm just progressing every day, working hard every day and feeling better every day. I'm going out to practice, and working as hard as I can, practicing with my teammates.'' - See more at: http://bostonherald.com/sports/patriots_nfl/the_blitz/2013/10/rob_gronkowski_claims_theres_no_pressure_from_team_to_play#sthash.rUCqg8ik.dpuf


''We were on the same page from the very get-go. We're still on the same page,'' he said. ''It's going good. I'm progressing every week. I'm feeling better every week, getting stronger every week, and getting in better condition every week. I'm still sticking to the motto, day-by-day . . . it's going good.'' - See more at: http://bostonherald.com/sports/patriots_nfl/the_blitz/2013/10/rob_gronkowski_claims_theres_no_pressure_from_team_to_play#sthash.vn65VZmP.dpuf
''We were on the same page from the very get-go. We're still on the same page,'' he said. ''It's going good. I'm progressing every week. I'm feeling better every week, getting stronger every week, and getting in better condition every week. I'm still sticking to the motto, day-by-day . . . it's going good.'' - See more at: http://bostonherald.com/sports/patriots_nfl/the_blitz/2013/10/rob_gronkowski_claims_theres_no_pressure_from_team_to_play#sthash.vn65VZmP.dpuf

Ned Brady 10/03/2013 04:44:00 PM Edit
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