Gronkowski 'jittery' with excitement for Week 1

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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.

Felger: 'The Oakland Raiders are garbage, and they always have been'

Felger: 'The Oakland Raiders are garbage, and they always have been'

Want a classic Felger rant? Or forget Felger; a classic rant, period?

Watch the video above as Michael Felger eviscerates the Oakland Raiders.

"You know what the Oakland Raiders are? And their fans, and their city? A bunch of dirtbags," Felger said Tuesday on Felger & Mazz. "If that's not the most overrated team and organization in the history of sports, I don't know what is . . . That is a garbage organization and it has always has been.

"And the way people are treating them now, like . . . the Green Bay Packers or the Boston Celtics or the Montreal Canadiens or the New York Yankees are moving, is laughable. Laughable! The Oakland Raiders are garbage. And they always have been."

There's more . . . ,much more. Watch the video to hear the full treatment.

First-place Celtics continue to focus on playing well, not standings

First-place Celtics continue to focus on playing well, not standings

WALTHAM, Mass. – When it comes to NBA standings, no Celtic pays closer attention to it than Isaiah Thomas.
 
But the 5-foot-9 All-Star is quick to say that while he’s aware of what’s happening with other teams record-wise, Thomas, like his teammates, isn’t obsessed with it, even with the Celtics (48-26) now in first place in the East following Cleveland’s loss at San Antonio on Monday.
 
“It’s a good feeling,” Thomas said. “It’s still not the end of the year; anything can happen. It’s a nice feeling to be the number one seed for once, but we just have to continue to control what we can control.”

The fact that Boston is even in position to finish with the best record in the East is amazing when you consider injuries and illnesses have forced them to use 13 different starting lineups this season.
 
And the preferred starting five of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Al Horford and Amir Johnson has played together 31 times and posted an impressive 24-7 record.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens has been consistent in his message that while having the best record in the East is nice, he’s more consumed with the team continuing to improve.
 
“It doesn’t mean a whole lot right now,” Stevens said of being in first place. “The whole idea is to make progress, get better every day and stay in the moment. You do that if you’re in last place trying to build up or whether you’re in a position where you’re fighting for seeding. Ultimately, we’ve been able to grow and get a little bit better. But I still think we can play a lot better. That’s where my focus is.”
 
And the same holds true for his players. Thomas knows how unusual this season has been for the Celtics, who continue finding ways to win despite frequently being short-handed.
 
The latest example of that involves forward Jonas Jerebko, who is questionable for Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee because of a sore left knee that limited him in Tuesday’s practice.
 
“It’s a long season. A lot of things can happen whether they be good or bad and we know that,” Thomas said. “We just try to withstand the storm we’ve had a few times this year, and continue to try and stay as positive as possible and we’ve done that. We’re in a good position right now. We just have to continue to take care of business.”
  
And that means steadily improving while piling up the wins, particularly against teams such as the Bucks (37-36), who are among a handful of teams that could potentially be Boston’s first-round opponent.
 
Milwaukee comes in having won 11 of its past 14 games.

“It makes the game that much more important,” said Celtics guard Avery Bradley. “Just like the Miami game. We want to let the teams know now, they go up against us in the playoffs, it’s no mercy. We’re going to play hard. We’re going to bring it every single night. We’re going to play Celtics basketball every single night. Them knowing that, we can scare a lot of teams if we’re playing the right way.”