Gronkowski Cleared to Play (NESN)
After an intense summer of rehab, New England’s Rob Gronkowski has been cleared to participate in training camp and begin preparing for the Patriot’s September 7th season opener against Miami.
Plagued by a multitude of injuries and surgeries, the tight end didn't have an offseason to admire.
“[Summer] was boring this year,” said Gronkowski. “I was rehabbing every day, it was miserable, hopefully that never happens again, and I don’t wish nothing on anyone like I had in the past few years.”
Working closely with Tom Brady during Friday’s practice, the tight end has focused his attention on running routes and getting back into top shape before beginning work with defensive players.
“It’s feeling good out there, running routes, getting balls thrown, and it just feels great to be out there with my teammates, being in the huddle, catching balls from Tom Brady — it’s a dream come true again. It feels like it got taken away and now I feel like I got it back, so it’s awesome…“I’m going to go full speed out there and I’m going to keep smashin’ and dashin’ everything I do,” Gronkowski explained.
Despite numerous injuries, the tight end has recored 42 touchdown catches from Brady in just 50 games, the most by any current player on the team.
“I’m just looking forward to the future and getting back on the field and making some plays and helping my teammates out,” he said.
Patriots Sign Stanford and Tyms, Release Orton (CSSNE)
New England added two more receivers to their roster before the start of Sunday’s practice, picking up undrafted free agents Cole Standford and Brian Tyms. Room on the roster was made for the signings after the team released wide receiver Greg Orton who suffered an Achielles injury during Friday’s practice.
Stanford, a product out of Cal Poly, recorded four touchdowns and 25 catches for 354 yards his senior year.
Tyms, a 2012 Florida A&M undrafted free agent, caught two passes for 12 yards with the Browns last season and has also spent time with the Dolphins and 49ers.
Revis Adjusts to Swarm of Cheering Patriots Fans
Greeted by a sea of fans, former Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis is still getting used to positive interactions with New England fans.
“It’s been awesome. It’s been kind of weird in a way, but I’m a Patriot now, and that’s how things go, and you’ve just got to roll with it,” said Revis. “They’ve accepted me, and I’m just happy to be here and play ball…I was on the other side with another team, with a rival. But I’m here now, and I’m just so excited. I’ve been in the best shape in my career, and I’m just happy to be out here and play ball.”
Known for his ‘smack talk’ during his time with New York, Revis contends that he and his new team have overcome all of the past rivalry feelings.
"There are college rivalries, there are high school rivalries, [and] there are rivalries in the pros as well. I was on that side, and you’re not supposed to like your rival, no matter where you play,” Revis explained. “I’m here now, and all that is in the past. The only thing I can focus on is what I do right now. And right now, I’m a Patriot.”
Browner Keeping Play Style Despite Rule Changes (NESN)
221-pound cornerback Brandon Browner is not allowing new defensive rules to change the way is known for playing. The 6-foot-4 heavyweight brings physicality to the role that others in league do not have, being able to redirect receivers in press coverage and maintain down the field contact with ease. Current rule changes by the league however have put an emphasis on offensive pass interference, illegal contact and defensive holding penalties for the upcoming season.
“I’m gonna force them to make the call. I’m not gonna change my game,” Browner explained following Saturday’s camp. “I’m gonna stay as aggressive as possible.”
The cornerback mentioned that he will not change his style of play until he gets the word from head coach Bill Belichick.
“We’re trying to play within the rules but now they’re saying, ‘We’re going to emphasize the rule differently.’ Well, I don’t really know what that means. I think you definitely have to get to the preseason or in some cases, the regular season, to see how that’s going to be,” Belichick explained during a Friday press conference.
Patriots Release Byham (ProFootballTalk)
Five days after signing with the team, the Patriots have released former Buccaneers tight end Nate Byham. The veteran spent time with the 49ers and two seasons with Tampa Bay before signing with New England. In 29 regular season NFL games, he has recorded 11 catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. Last season, he only played four games catching three receptions for 38 yards.
Potential sidekicks to Devin McCourty in the defensive backfield…