New England Patriots Links 5/16/11 - Gronkowski Credits Crumpler For Stellar Rookie Season

Nothing is stopping Rob Gronkowski - from hard work, staying in shape and volunteering his time - in spite of the lockout.

Mike Reiss notes Rob Gronkowski was a guest on Sirius XM NFL Radio, joining co-hosts Alex Marvez and Jim Miller on "the End Zone" program.

Rookie season was unexpected. Gronkowski acknowledged that his rookie season, in which he totaled 10 touchdown receptions, was a surprise to him. "It’s definitely crazy thinking about it. From the first day I was drafted, I didn’t think anything like that was going to happen," he said.

Approaching his Year 1 to Year 2 jump. Gronkowski was asked about how challenging it will be to build off his rookie season because of the lockout. "You have to be training at all times, wherever you are. I just got a great week in of workouts with a couple players up here," he said.

What he learned from Alge Crumpler. Paying respect to veteran Alge Crumpler, Gronkowski called him his mentor during his rookie season. "He’s the man – he helped us out with everything from Day 1. I don’t think we would have had a year as rookie tight ends – that Aaron [Hernandez] and I had – without him," he said, adding that he looked up to Crumpler as a kid.

Team workouts in Massachusetts. Gronkowski touched on how players are getting together for workouts. "It’s not like it would be if there was no lockout, but we’re definitely still doing things just so we’re still in football shape and we feel the game of football," he said. "So right when we go back into it, we won’t be like ‘Whoa!’ We’re definitely doing things – throwing, running routes, drills that combine with your position."

Chris Collinsworth voices his frustration with the labor situation, and how if the players take this all the way in the courts, and win, the game would be changed forever.

"God, I just wish I could get through to somebody,'' he said. "You know how when you're talking to your kids, and you know positively what the right thing to do is, and you also know they're going to do something else, and there's nothing you can do about it? That's how I feel now. And, God, is it painful to watch."

"The game's so good. The players are making money. The owners are making money. The commissioner's got some good safety initiatives going. The networks are thrilled. The fans are thrilled. The game's never been better. It's time to quit sugarcoating this thing and really start thinking about what the NFL really might look like at the end of the process.''

TEAM TALK

  • Paul Perillo and Erik Scalavino debate whether the Patriots should target an impact rusher in free agency.
  • Andy Hart wonders whether Ryan Mallett could not only be the heir apparent to Tom Brady, but also the reason Bill Belichick decides to stay in New England.
  • Patriots Today - Dowling talks about being drafted. (2.06 min. video)
  • Patriots Roster Report - 5/13/11: The PFW crew takes a look at the depth of the DBs with the addition of 2011 Draft picks Ras-I Dowling and Malcolm Williams. (13.16 min. program)

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