Gronkowski 'jittery' with excitement for Week 1


Gronkowski 'jittery' with excitement for Week 1

FOXBORO -- Each player interview in the Patriots locker room Sunday morning got a preface. It's like there's an unwritten rule that those who'd been felled by Friday's roster cutdown had to first be acknowledged before moving on.
Rob Gronkowski was no exception.
"That shows the business side of the NFL and it's always tough to see your friends go," he said. "Your friends, people that are your mentors, guys that you look up to -- it's tough seeing them go. It's part of the business, but at the same time you wish them luck and you hope that everything works out for everyone that you see go. It's definitely a tough time."
But there's not a lot of time to dwell. This is Week 1, after all.
"It's kind of like last week now, but just focused on the game now that's coming up, Tennessee. Just going to be preparing hard, mentally, physically and getting ready."
The Patriots fly out to visit the Titans this weekend. Gronkowski said he's jittery with excitement to get things kicked off.
But of course. He not only has to answer for his own 2011 season -- the best statistical year for a tight end in NFL history -- he has to do it on a surgically repaired ankle.
Gronkowski believes he's on pace.
"That's what our whole training camp, always out there practice, getting ready. It's up to the coaches how much we play during the preseason games, but I feel that practice-wise, that's where it starts. And continuing from all of camp, practicing all of camp, and going into this week, all the reps we'll be getting this week, a couple practices to get prepared. Definitely feel prepared, hopefully throughout this week too. Get some good physical and mental preparation in to be ready."
Luckily, the tight end is working with Tom Brady and one of the league's most high-powered offenses.
"What I notice about the system is that we're always just trying to get better. Every single week, win or loss, you just want to improve and get better in the areas that you weren't doing so good at. Practice-wise, going back and looking at the film from the practice day before.
"You want to go out on the field and improve what you did wrong. And what you did right, you want to make sure that you're staying up to date, doing those things right, from there on out, every single practice. So basically, it's go time and we have to go out there and practice hard every week, keep the offense in rhythm."
There's no stopping -- as he and the rest of the whittled-down team are currently well aware.

Tuesday, Oct. 25: Carlo for Calder?


Tuesday, Oct. 25: Carlo for Calder?

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while having watched the Curious George Halloween special about eight times over the last three or four days thanks to my three-year-old son.

*Bob McKenzie with a great story in former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore talking a shift as an Uber driver as his hockey work has dried up.

*Alex Radulov is earning some early respect for his play from his Habs teammates and the fickle Canadiens fans, but let’s see how the whole season plays out for the notoriously combustible Russian winger.

*Zach Werenski has taken an early lead among his NHL rookie peers for the Calder Trophy, but it looks like it’s going to be a crowded field this year. Just a couple of weeks in, Brandon Carlo certainly looks like he could be in the conversation as well.

*Pioneering female goaltender Shannon Szabados has been cut from the Peoria team in the Southern Pro League.

*The Chicago Blackhawks have plenty of advice for the Chicago Cubs about playing in the big games as the Cubbies get ready for their World Series close-up.

*A more mature David Perron is having greater success the second time around with the St. Louis Blues while contributing in many different areas.

*For something completely different: a really fun story of a Hollywood Reporter contributor recording the reactions of her 7-year-old son watching Empire Strikes Back for the first time. I was around the same age when Empire came out, so I’m sure my reactions were pretty similar to his at different points in the movie.

Red Sox exec Amiel Sawdaye follows Hazen to Arizona


Red Sox exec Amiel Sawdaye follows Hazen to Arizona

The Red Sox lost another key member of their front office Monday, when vice-president of amateur and international scouting Amiel Sawdaye followed former general manager Mike Hazen to Arizona.

Sawdaye will be the Diamondbacks' assistant GM. As stated by Rotoworld, he had been instrumental in building up the Red Sox' young big league talent and farm system.

The Boston Globe reported today that the Red Sox may not fill the GM vacancy created when Hazen left, instead using "other staffers to take on Hazen’s administrative duties". President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski handles many of the duties traditionally associated with the general manager's position, leaving the actual GM's job in Boston as "essentially an assistant [position] with a lofty title but little power".

The Red Sox have also lost two other front-office members this offseason: Senior baseball analyst Tom Tippett, who had been with the organization for eight years, and director of sports medicine services Dan Dyrek, who had been with the Sox for five years.