New England Patriots Links 5/18/11 - Players Continue Charity In Lockout; Don't Forget About Marcus Stroud

Christopher Price catches up with Rob Gronkowski, Gary Guyton and Dane Fletcher, who attended a Celebrity Poker Tournament fund raiser for the Boys and Girls Club.

"We work out all the time," Gronkowski said Tuesday night. "We’ve been working out, and we’ve been getting at it, four or five times a week. That’s all. We’re not going to stop. Why would we stop? You take a break once and a while, but four or five times a week, we’re still going at it."

"There are definitely people out there grinding. I’m working out a lot, throwing — Fletcher and I, we’re always out there grinding every day about five times a week. We’re just ready to play some football and hoping there’s a season. I’m ready to play."

"This is my first offseason — it’s definitely way easier now than it was last year. With the lockout thing, it is what it is. You just have to keep training and whatever, and when you get the call, you have to be ready to go back. But definitely, at this point now, I know I’m already way ahead of where I was at this time last year because at this point last year as a rookie, I didn’t know anything coming in."

"Taking care of your body during the lockout is definitely a big thing. You don’t want to come back after the lockout and be 'Joe Sloppy' — that’s the worst thing that can happen for yourself as a person and as an athlete," said inside linebacker Gary Guyton, who is working out with some friends down South as the lockout continues. "So me right now, I’m just building up my body and doing the best I can — work out, every day if possible. And just keep my body in good shape for whatever comes."

"You try and match what OTA’s would be like at this point, try and get out there and running on the field and throwing and working drills as well as lifting," said Fletcher, who lined up at multiple linebacker spots last season. "Just do as much as you can do to be on top and try and stay on top of things."

"There’s definitely a comfort level now that wasn’t there for me at this time last year," acknowledged Fletcher, who went from undrafted free agent to special teamer and backup linebacker as a rookie. "But when it comes around to OTA’s if they start up, and there’s training camp, no matter what, you have to compete. You’re job is on the line, every day, regardless."

Shalise Manza Young reminds us not to forget Marcus Stroud, the Pro Bowl defensive lineman signed by the Patriots before the lockout.

"I think I have a lot to offer,’’ the Georgia native said yesterday. "I have a lot of good ball left in me.’’

"That was a no-brainer,’’ he said [referring his decision to play in New England]. "Any time you have a chance to be in contention every year — they have a great quarterback, great offense, great defense intact already. You want to go where you can just add in and keep plugging along.’’

"It’s just a winning-type mentality,’’ said Stroud, who is training in Atlanta. "That’s something I want to be part of.’’ Stroud isn’t worried about his duties in the New England defense, saying, "Football is football.’’ He likely will have a specialized role, rotating in and out depending on the situation.

After his early exit from Buffalo, one league source predicted at the time of Stroud’s signing that he would arrive in Foxborough with a chip on his shoulder and in great shape. He doesn’t dispute that notion. "Definitely. Yes,’’ he said when asked about having a chip. "I’m not going to talk about [Buffalo], but like I said, I have a lot left in me. I just have to get on the field and do my job.’’

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