White, Slater the leaders in '11 ST snaps

White, Slater the leaders in '11 ST snaps

By Tom E. Curran

It's no secret the Patriots place a premium on the ability to contribute on special teams. The ability to cover and block in the controlled chaos of "teams" is a key tiebreaker in the roster decisions that will be coming in the next 60 days.

These are the snaps taken on special teams last year in descending order. There were 460 total special teams snaps.

Tracy White (306) 66.3
Matt Slater (278) 60.43
Sergio Brown (269) 58.4
James Ihedigbo (200) 43.48
Stephen Gostkowski (195) 42.39
Kyle Arrington (192) 41.74
Antwaun Molden (187) 40.65
Rob Ninkovich (186) 40.43
Rob Gronkowski (168) 36.52
Niko Koutouvides (164) 36.65
Danny Woodhead (160) 34.78
Zoltan Mesko (151) 32.83
Danny Aiken (150) 32.61
Devin McCourty (149) 32.39
Julian Edelman (139) 30.22
Dane Fletcher (135) 29.35
Jeff Tarpinian (135) 29.35
Ross Ventrone (133) 28.91
Nate Solder (116) 25.22
Gary Guyton (97) 21.09
Ryan Wendell (96) 20.87
Brian Waters (90) 19.57
Josh Barrett (80) 17.39
Matt Light (80) 17.39
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (79) 17.17
Logan Mankins (79) 17.17
Dan Connolly (69) 15
Jermaine Cunningham (67) 14.57
Jerod Mayo (65) 14.13
Vince Wilfork (64) 13.91
Patrick Chung (60) 13.04
Kyle Love (59) 12.83
Donald Thomas (58) 12.61
Stevan Ridley (58) 12.61
Nate Jones (47) 10.31
Shane Vereen (46) 10
Brandon Deaderick (39) 8.48
Shaun Ellis (36) 5.65
Wes Welker (32) 6.96
Malcolm Williams (32) 6.96
Sterling Moore (27) 5.87
Nick McDonald (22) 4.78
Marcus Cannon (21) 4.57
Lousaka Polite (17) 3.7
Kevin Faulk (16) 3.48
Brandon Spikes (12) 2.61
Eric Moore (10) 2.17
Landon Cohen (6) 1.3
Andre Carter (5) 1.09
Aaron Hernandez (5) 1.09
Alex Silvestro (5) 1.09
Dan Koppen 2 (0.43)
Myron Pryor (1) 0.22
Mike Wright (1) 0.22

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 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.

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.