Notes: Lockout rock star Gronk back to business

Notes: Lockout rock star Gronk back to business
July 31, 2011, 6:28 pm
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By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - Gronk took the lockout by the throat and wrung every bit of self-indulgent fun he could out of it. As least that appeared to be the case. Gronk was here dancing, Gronk was there singing, Gronk was shirtless and flipping girls into the air like a flat-topped majorette. Now? RoboGronk. The second-year tight end isn't what you'd call comfortable in front of the media. Great guy but not a gifted orator. For instance, here's the answer he rolled out when asked about wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. "He's a great receiver. It was the coach's decision to bring him in. It is what it is and we're all trying to get better out here and I'm just working on my own aspect of the game just concentrating on my job to go out there and focus what I gotta do, what I gotta do to help do whatever's best for the team."Blink. Blink. Blink. Asked about his lockout domination, Gronkowski said,"That's all in the past now. Really don't matter what it is. Now we're just here concentrating on football. We're in camp and just trying to get better every day now."But he did enjoy it, no? "Cool thing was I got to be with my family a lot," he smiled. "So that was cool."The onequestion Gronkowski did warm to was aboutrecently released tight end AlgeCrumpler. "Alge Crumpler's a great guy anddefinitely gonna be missed," said Gronkowski who would often look at Crumpler before answering questions last year as a rookie."I've already missed his presence. He's a great leader andI'm definitely gonna miss him. I hope thebest for him tooin the future. He wasn't just an awesome player but he was a great guy on and off the field."Despite the high intensity fun Gronk enjoyed before football returned, he looksfresh as a daisy. A brilliant one-handed catch in the seam on a seemingly overthrown ball by quarterback Jonathan Crompton on Saturday was evidence thatRob Gronkowski, tight endlives.Gronk? He's gone for now. Albert Haynesworth will be wearing No. 92. He spent most of the morning walkthrough hearing scheme talk on the field. The Patriots worked defensively on reading the running back in draw and screen situations for a few minutes and did so out of a 4-3 set. Logan Mankins was also on the field butjust observing, not participating. Any player signed to a new dealthis year, whether it be a re-signing or a tender, cannotpractice until August 4. Deion Branch was, as usual, upbeat and informative in his session with reporters. He said that second-year player Taylor Price went through a tough rookie season under the scrutiny of coaches as he transitioned to the NFL but that he expects big things from the player who seems much more at ease. Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio said he expects BenJarvus Green-Ellis in camp this week. He's a restricted free agent but will be back with the Patriots unless a team gives him an offer New England declines to match. On Haynesworth, Caserio said, "Alberts been a good football player in this league, hes big, hes strong, hes athletic and hes a disruptive player. I think weve always taken the approach that if the guys a good football player, well find a way to use him. In the end, its up to the player to determine what his role is going to be moving forward." Still unsigned among prominent draft choices are first-rounder Nate Solder, second-rounder Ras-I Dowling and running back Shane Vereen. Caserio was very positive about the physical and mental progress of Marcus Cannon who's coming back from lymphoma."Ithink hes still kind of going through his process. He looks great. Hes done everything hes been asked to do to this point. I think were all optimistic. I dont think were going to rush into anything. I think were going to let that timetable sort of run its course. Hes here. Hell be here. I think there are a few more steps along the way for him that hes going to have to take care of
Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran