New Year, New Gronk: preseason participation and eating like Brady

Jared Wickerham | Getty Images

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has been through a lot in the last seven seasons.

Now at the start of his eighth, he’s switching things up – in a good way.

Gronkowski appeared in his first preseason game since 2012, on Saturday night against the Houston Texans. Although he only played 14 snaps, the 28-year-old admitted that he now values the importance of getting game-time reps in before the season.

“I’m glad I was out there,” he said. “It felt good just to get the game speed. You can never get enough reps. You can never get enough practice reps. So it felt great to go out there and get my feet wet and see what it’s all about again.”

That’s a major change in attitude after claiming in 2015 that just practicing was enough to get you ready for Week 1.

“I just felt the benefit when I was out there; the speed of the game, live game speed. It’s been a while for me," Gronk continued. "I felt the benefit of getting in sync blocking-wise, the cadence and everything like that. I’m taking all positives out of it.”

Another part of the tight end’s newfound perspective is the fact that he’s switching up parts of his diet to match Tom Brady’s.

But no avocado ice cream anytime soon for Gronk. He admitted that some of Brady’s meals are a little difficult to eat while others are “really, really good.”

Developing new training and eating habits, along with preseason participation, are all part of an evolving Rob Gronkowski – and we can’t wait to see what happens next.

Follow Megan on Twitter: @carnahanmegan