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."
"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.’’
- Erik Scalavino notes if OL Marcus Cannon successfully addresses his immediate medical concerns and returns to football form, he could be the steal of the draft.
- Ask PFW: Lockout lull continues.
- Patriots Today - Gronkowski, Pats alumni team up in Worcester. (2.29 min. video)
- Ian Rapoport notes it sounds like it wasn't Belichick's decision to not give playbooks to the rookies.
- Mike Reiss catches up with ILB Gary Guyton following a charity event that raised more than $7,000 for Children's Hospital-Boston.
- Mike Reiss writes a terrific piece detailing his visit to NFL Films in New Jersey.
- Tom E. Curran notes Devin McCourty remembers being told that he wasn't a popular draft pick with New England fans and that helped spur him to a brilliant rookie season.
- Tom E. Curran analyzes the O-Line position and looks at which available free agents might be a good fit for the Patriots.
- Jeff Howe reports Drew Bledsoe acknowledges similarities between himself and Ryan Mallett, and offers 19 other NFL thoughts.
- Jeff Howe reports the Patriots serving as Naval Officers are adamant that the NFL must end lockout to properly honor 9/11.
- Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag. The draft is over and the lockout is still on, so this week's mailbag is mixed.
- ESPN Boston reports Tedy Bruschi's Kilimanjaro journey continues.
- Barry Wilner (AP) NFL players not concerned about loss of unity.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Offseason workouts are dead to Belichick.
- Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News) Patriots coach Bill Belichick preparing for modified playbook, just in case.
- Rick Reilly (ESPN) Hold for Coach Belichick: Former TCU OL Marcus Cannon was diagnosed with cancer during the 2011 NFL Combine, but one coach still took a chance on him.
- Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) McCourty remembers being an unpopular Patriots pick.
- Mike Freeman (CBS Sports) No OTAs, no minicamps? This season could be ugly.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Bledsoe calls decision to draft Mallett 'wise'.
- Paul Lukas (ESPN Page 2) Uni Watch ranks the top 10 retro NFL helmet designs. Pat Patriot number 2.
- Bill Williamson (ESPN) Power Rankings: Top 10 NFL helmets. Not much love for the flying Elvis.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB Tuesday: Mailbag.
- Baxter Holmes (Los Angeles Times) When athletes post on Twitter, controversy can follow.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Biggest letdown seasons of past 25 years.
- Chris Corbellini and Jason Schwartz (Fox Sports) Locked-out players line up for cash loans.
- Adam Rank (NFL.com) Ochocinco, Dolphins and LT ... divas who need to go away.
- Cris Collinsworth (Football Pros) Robert Kraft: We need you!
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Mediation breaks until June.
- Patrick Donnelly (Fox Sports) Players, owners wrap up two days of mediation.
- Clark Judge (CBS Sports) Experts concur: Balance of power shifts back to NFL.
- Andrew Brandt (Nat'l Football Post) Owners court victory a path to a deal?
- Judy Battista (NY Times) In wake of ruling, possibility of progress in NFL lockout.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Pash reiterates that the time is now to get a deal done.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Kevin Mawae says two sides are no closer to deal than in March.
- Will Brinson (CBS Sports) Why the players won't simply cave just quite yet.
- Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) DeMaurice and the Commish do lunch.
- Will Brinson (CBS Sports) NFLPA memo details nearly 2 years of CBA talks.