Ochocinco's 2010 Belichick chat

372669.jpg

Ochocinco's 2010 Belichick chat

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @mary_paoletti

Chad Ochocinco only just arrived in New England, but much has already been written about his relationship with Bill Belichick.

Because it is -- inconceivably -- a good one.

We've known for a few years the ever unpredictable Ocho has a bond with New England's no-nonsense head coach. It's still a fascinating thing. Who could have predicted a positive connection between one man who plays Pied Piper to the media and another who is loath to take the podium.

Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran had this Odd Couple in mind as toddled off to Cincinnati for New England's 2010 Week 1 matchup with the Bengals.

We got Curran's chat with No. 8-5 on camera. Smart move.

Gronkowski nominated for Walter Payton Man of the Year Award

patriots-gronkowski-3-103016.jpg

Gronkowski nominated for Walter Payton Man of the Year Award

FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski is up for one of the NFL's most prestigious awards, and it's not simply for what he's done while on the football field. 

The Patriots tight end is the team's nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, it was announced on Wednesday. Each year the award recognizes one player for his excellence on and off the field.

“We’re proud to honor these outstanding men who represent the NFL’s best on and off the field,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. “Our players have a unique platform to make a difference far beyond the field of play. We salute these individuals who are exemplary in their commitment to making a positive impact in communities across the globe through their dedicated service and philanthropic efforts.”

The winner will be announced in Houston on the night before Super Bowl LI.

Gronkowski was named the 14th Patriots Ron Burton Community Service Award winner in August.

"Rob is just as fun to watch at a community event as he is on the game field," Patriots owner Robert Kraft said at the time. "Giving back to the community is a big part of being 'Gronk.' "

Gostkowski named AFC special teams player of week

patriots-stephen-gostkowski.jpg

Gostkowski named AFC special teams player of week

FOXBORO -- It's been an uncharacteristically erratic season for Stephen Gostkowski, but on Sunday the Patriots Pro Bowl kicker was dialed in. And his four field-goal performance against Los Angeles earned him AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. It is the second time this season and the fifth time in his career that Gostkowski has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, having also won the award after the first game of the season at Arizona. 

Gostkowski's missed four field goals so far this season. He hasn't missed four in a year since 2012 when he missed six field goals. He's also missed three extra points. While the Patriots were a little downcast about the inability of their offense to close out drives against the Rams, an ancillary benefit was undoubtedly Gostkowski having a day that should boost his confidence going forward.