Gronkowski on Miami game return: I wasn't that confident


Gronkowski on Miami game return: I wasn't that confident

Rob Gronkowski made the rounds on Radio Row at Super Bowl XLVII Thursday. While on WEEI's Mut & Merloni show, the Patriots tight end gave an update on his twice-surgically repaired forearm.
The arms doing all right; just casted it up, he said. Got a lot of time to heal now. So, theres no hurry, no rush. Just taking it week by week and day by day, and just getting it stronger every day. So, Im improving every week. Its the offseason now, so, no time to rush it. Get it 100-percent before camp starts.
Gronkowski's season ended after he re-fractured his left arm in New England's 41-28 Divisional Playoff win over Houston. The injury occurred when he landed hard trying to catch a pass during the Patriots' second series of the game.

Right when I landed obviously I was in huge pain, he recalled. I knew there was something wrong right when I hit. I just wasnt sure what it was because sometimes you get a stinger, sometimes you get a charley horse and they go away after two minutes they just hurt real bad, real quick for like two minutes. So, I was just hoping it was that, like a quick stinger, hitting your joint in your elbow or something where it just numbs your arm real quick. I was just hoping it was one of those. But the pain wasnt going away, obviously, and obviously it broke.
It wasnt the way I wanted to go out. Definitely it wasnt. It is what it was. Thats what happened.
The arm originally broke November 18 in New England's game against Indianapolis. Gronkowski missed the team's next five games before returning to action in the season finale.
The Patriots beat Miami that December day, but the tight end had just two catches in his comeback. It appeared, just by the way he was blocking, that Gronkowski wasn't playing at full capacity. He admitted as much on Thursday.
I really wasnt that confident obviously going in, because obviously I was using one hand, as you can see, he said. I was just getting used to it and all, just getting used to the flow of the game again, its good to get the speed down and all that, and just getting me prepared going into the playoffs, playing in that Miami game.
If the doctors didnt clear me and they said it wasnt smart to play in the Miami game, then I wouldnt have. But the doctors cleared me and they said I was good to go. Obviously I want to be out there whenever I can get out there. So, right when they said I was cleared, I was definitely ready to go.
The Houston game came two weeks later.
Despite the second break, the subsequent setback, Gronkowski maintains he has zero regrets about taking the field for the postseason.
I couldnt really tell you if it was healed or not," he said. "It felt good. Just going into the playoff game I felt ready, I felt confident about it. Like I said, it was just a freak accident. It didnt go the way I planned. It broke in a different spot."

Bennett says he is 'just chilling' and hasn't given free agency 'a ton of thought'

Bennett says he is 'just chilling' and hasn't given free agency 'a ton of thought'

Will Martellus Bennett be back with the Patriots next season?

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says it's "a real possibility" Bennett leaves given the asking price and potential offers.

Less than an hour later, the unrestricted free agent sent out a tweet responding to speculation about his future.

Bennett, who will 30 years old in March, had seven touchdowns in 19 games in his first season with the New England Patriots. 


Blount on free agency: 'I definitely want to go back to New England'

Blount on free agency: 'I definitely want to go back to New England'

LeGarrette Blount knows where he wants to be for 2017. Ever since he re-joined the Patriots in 2014 following a short stay in Pittsburgh, the 250-pound back has been very open about how he wants to play out the rest of his career in New England. 

Those feelings haven't changed, even as he faces free-agency after having recorded the best season of his seven-year career.

"I just want to make sure that I go to this free agency with an open mind, knowing that I definitely want to go back to New England," he told NFL Total Access on Monday. "I love it there. I love the culture. I love the players. I've become close with a lot of the guys. Obviously you know how my running back group is.

"We'll cross that bridge whenever we cross it. On that point, I feel great. I'm in amazing shape. I feel like I could play 100 more years if I have to."

Blount finished 2016 with career-highs in attempts (299) yards (1,161) and touchowns (18). His ability to help the Patriots close games in the fourth quarter was notable throughout the course of the season, and he was among the most effective goal-line backs in the league. His 18 rushing scores are a franchise record.

Toward the end of the season, as Dion Lewis worked his way back into the Patriots offense, Blount had his workload cut into, and his fumble in the Super Bowl was a near-catastrophic moment -- his devastated reaction to which was caught expertly by NFL Films. But a big-picture view of Blount's year would reveal that he  posted the most prodictive "big back" season the Patriots have had in more than a decade.

Blount signed a one-year deal with the Patriots last offseason after seeing his 2015 prematurely ended by way of a hip injury. He turned 30 in December.