Brady appreciates Gronkowski changing his diet: 'Hopefully it really pays off for him'

Brady appreciates Gronkowski changing his diet: 'Hopefully it really pays off for him'

FOXBORO -- No one would blame you if you rolled your eyes when resident Patriots party boy Rob Gronkowski discussed how he was taking on Tom Brady's dietary plan and training regimen in the hopes of staying healthy this season and beyond. 

But Brady says that his favorite tight end has worked hard this offseason to take care of his body by doing some of the same things Brady does.

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"I've talked to a lot of different players, and Gronk's really worked hard," Brady said on Friday. "He's gotten older, and I'm proud of him for the effort that he's put in this offseason. He always puts in a lot of effort. He's got a great work ethic. Hopefully it really pays off for him.

"It's a contact sport and you've got to prepare yourself for what we're about to face. We put ourselves in harm's way a lot. To me, you've gotta be proactive about how you condition your body to be prepared for that. He's done a great job of that, as have a lot of guys. Hopefully we can make it a great season."

Brady said that his diet and training style has allowed him to maintain his health even after 17 years of football. "I don't wake up in pain," he said, and he hopes to continue to share his methods with interested players to help them sustain peak performance.

"Hopefully I can share that with a lot of people," he explained. "It'd be great to pass on that wisdom. I feel that's part of my responsibility to do that for other players when they want to seek the same thing. It's been a really enjoyable part of my career."

For Gronkowski in particular, there's a lot riding on his ability to stay healthy in 2017. As part of a restructured deal, he could earn up to $10.75 million this season should he play 90 percent of the offensive snaps (which he's done once before in his career), or make 80 catches (which he's done twice), or gain 1,200 yards receiving (once), or be named an All-Pro (three times).

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Goodell statement calls Trump's comments 'divisive'

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Goodell statement calls Trump's comments 'divisive'

In separate statements Saturday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association chief DeMaurice Smith each criticized President Donald Trump's verbal attack on NFL players. 

Goodell's statement: 

The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we’ve experienced over the last month.  Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.

 

And Smith's statement: 

Whether or not Roger or the owners will speak for themselves about their views on player rights and their commitment to player safety remains to be seen. This union, however, will never back down when it comes to protecting the constitutional rights of our players as citizens as well as their safety as men who compete in a game that exposes them to great risks. 

At a rally in Alabama on Friday night, Trump said NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. And he encouraged NFL fans to walk out of games in protest. 

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ’Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,” Trump told the rally. 

He also lamented that football has become less violent.

“They’re ruining the game,” he complained.

McCourty tweets criticism of Trump's shot at NFL players

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McCourty tweets criticism of Trump's shot at NFL players

Patriots safety Devin McCourty tweeted criticism of President Donald Trump's harsh words toward NFL players who have been kneeling in protest during the national anthem.

McCourty shares a Twitter account with his twin brother Jason of the Cleveland Browns but put his DMac signature on this tweet. Devin McCourty was one of several Pats who didn't go to the White House this past spring to celebrate the team's Super Bowl championship with Trump. 

At a rally in Alabama on Friday night, Trump said NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. And he encouraged NFL fans to walk out of games in protest. 

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ’Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,” Trump told the rally to loud applause.

McCourty and then-teammate Martellus Bennett raised clenched fists in protest after the anthem at the Patriots opening game last season and McCourty said he received plenty of criticism for it. 

“I got a lot of [backlash],” McCourty told CSN Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran last year in the days following that protest. "You gotta remember, a lot of these people, they don’t know me. They like the way I play football and they like some of the things I do in the community but they don’t know me. I talked to my brother [then with the Tennessee Titans] because we have the same Twitter and the Titans got a bunch of calls from people saying they don’t respect [the Titans who made symbolic gestures] and they need to be gone. He said their community relations people said, ‘If you just knew them, your opinion would change.’ ”

Several NFL players and other athletes, most prominently former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, have refused to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to protest the treatment of African-Americans by police.