Fox: 'Moronic' for Broncos not to inject Manning's Colt offense

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Fox: 'Moronic' for Broncos not to inject Manning's Colt offense

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick continues to compare the Denver Broncos current offense to the Indianapolis Colts former offense. The biggest similarities lie in Peyton Manning's veteran presence under center.
On Wednesday, Manning said it wouldn't be in his best interest -- strategy-wise -- to either agree or disagree with that notion.
"I can't really say that, one way or the other," said Manning in a conference call. "Obviously, I can't force someone else's opinion. I think for me to respond to that would be too informative, I guess. If that's coach Belichick's evaluation, that's his.
"But, there's new players that I'm playing with. There's new coaches. There's new things for me, so, everybody can form their own opinion."
Broncos coach John Fox has his own opinion, and while he never came right out and said that Denver's current offensive style compared to Manning's old Colts' style, he did hint towards that being the case.
"At the end of the day, part of being a coach is to put players in the best positions to have success," said Fox. "I don't care if you're talking offense, defense, kicking game. So, it would probably be close to moronic for us not to inject some of the things that he had 14 years of great play with, in our offense. That's all part of coaching."
What makes the transition easier is that Manning came to Denver and was reunited with wide receiver Brandon Stokley and tight end Jacob Tamme -- both former teammates of Manning in Indianapolis.
"I think anytime you go through a change, any familiarity certainly helps in the transition," said Manning. "Brandon Stokley is one of my favorite teammates of all time. He's just a guy that loves football, grew up around football, with his dad being a coach. The four years that he and I played together were a lot of fun. So to be reunited with him has been special.
"And then Jacob kind of played in the shadows of Dallas Clark in Indianapolis, and had the chance to kind of establish himself on his own. And he's a really good teammate and hard worker as well. So ya, it certainly helps to have a couple guys that you played with before."

Gronkowski healthy enough to participate during Patriots OTA practice

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Gronkowski healthy enough to participate during Patriots OTA practice

There's one where he makes a one-handed catch and celebrates with his arms outstretched as he glides into the end zone. There's another where he leaves his feet to go up and over safety Devin McCourty to come down with a pass. 

Judging by some of the pictures that have surfaced on Patriots.com of Rob Gronkowski participating in an OTA practice earlier this week, the All-Pro tight end seems to be feeling pretty good. 

Gronkowski, who agreed to an incentive-laden contract restructure for the upcoming season, is returning to action after undergoing season-ending back surgery last year so there was some question as to just how prepared he'd be to participate in practices this spring and summer. 

Again, judging by the photos, the answer is he's ready to ready to run routes on air and make contested catches against defenders.

Reporters will have an opportunity to watch the team practice on Thursday, the first workout open to members of the media, which will allow us to judge Gronkowski's mobility and his level of participation more fully.

Another takeaway from the photos on the team website is that Gronkowski was not required to wear a non-contact jersey during the session. Contact is not allowed during this phase of the offseason training program, but players returning from injury (and quarterbacks) will still wear red jerseys to inform their teammates they're not to be touched. For instance, Jonathan Freeny, who was placed on season-ending injured reserve about a month into last season, donned a red non-contact jersey in one image.