Brady: Assume Gronk isn't playing until they tell me

Brady: Assume Gronk isn't playing until they tell me
September 18, 2013, 8:00 pm
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FOXBORO - Waiting For Gronk. It’s something the Patriots have become used to. So while forecasts as to when the big tight end will make his 2013 debut ramp up as Sunday draws closer, Tom Brady remains in a holding pattern.
“I just assume he’s not playing until they tell me that he’s going to play,” Brady said Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. “We’ve dealt with him injured for a lot of last season, too, so you just don’t want to. ...I think we know how to play without him. It’ll be a nice little influx of really rare talent when he gets back. I love having him on the field with me, I love working with him. He’s been great to work with since the day he got here, so whenever he’s back on the game field it’ll be exciting for all of us.”
Gronkowski missed five games last season, returning for the final regular season game and making it through the first few plays of the Patriots first playoff game against Houston before re-injuring his right forearm.
The only two losses for the Patriots in their seven games sans Gronk were against San Francisco and Baltimore (AFC Championship).
Brady knows the Patriots are better with the most potent tight end in the league (when he’s healthy). Still, he also understands there will be a re-aclimmation process for Gronkowski. He’ll need his “football legs” back, said Brady.
“There’s nothing you can do to duplicate an NFL football season,” Brady pointed out. “You can’t. For the training for it, it’s just, you have an offseason conditioning program and you train hard, but there’s nothing like training camp. There’s nothing like a real NFL game. That’s how you know how prepared you are, how prepared your body is. I think that’s what you try to simulate in practice, but ultimately what comes up in the game – it’s a faster speed, you’re on the clock on every single play, decisions are really quick and the stakes are at the highest, so you have to try to condition your body and your mind for that. Nobody can just show up and do that, that’s why we train really hard, that’s why we practice in the spring. We have 25 practices through training camp so we can be as prepared as possible. I’ve always said, ‘You never know what type of team you’re going to be for another few months,’ so we’ve still got a long way to go. Everyone’s got to take that time to get themselves playing their very, very best.”