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Tag:Rob Gronkowski
Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:04 am
Edited on: February 6, 2012 5:38 am
 

Gronkowski had little impact for Pats

Chase Blackburn comes down with an interception in front of Rob Gronkowski. (AP)
By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- Rob Gronkowski played as much and as well as most people could have guessed. He played but almost certainly was not 100 percent healthy. He didn't have much of a role in the passing offense. He was used mostly as a decoy and as a blocking tight end. And in the end, his impact on the Patriots' 21-17 loss to the Giants was minimal.

If we weren't wondering about how his ankle -- only two weeks after he suffered a high ankle sprain in the AFC title game -- we probably wouldn't have noticed Gronkowski at all. Basically, he was a shell of the man who accomplished so much this year and who put together arguably the best-ever season for an NFL tight end.

During the season, he caught 90 passes for 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns. On Sunday in Super Bowl XLVI, Gronkowski was targeted only three times and caught two passes for 26 yards. He blocked on running plays, but mostly, he was invisible.

"I was good," Gronkowski said. "I was 100 percent out there doing everything they asked me to do."

Fair enough, but obviously the Patriots didn't ask him to do much. Which was probably appropriate, considering Gronkowski didn't practice the week after the AFC title game and didn't practice Wednesday or Friday before the Super Bowl. He was limited on Thursday, so the game plan for Gronkowski probably was small.

Giants 21, Patriots 17
Still, he had a chance to make a big play early in the fourth quarter as the Patriots tried extending their 17-15 lead. Tom Brady avoided the pass rush at midfield and launched a pass deep downfield, intended for Gronkowski. But the ball was badly underthrown, and Gronkowski couldn't get around Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn to prevent the interception.

"We were in a defense where I had to carry him vertical all the way down the field," Blackburn said. "[Brady] had a lot of time ... and he just threw it up for grabs. I finally found the ball. I just tried to box [Gronkowski] out and go up and get the ball.”

Maybe if Gronkowski's ankle were OK, he would have had a chance at catching the pass. Maybe he would have had a greater impact in the game, like fellow tight end Aaron Hernandez, who led the team with eight catches for 67 yards and a touchdown. But that's not who the Patriots had Sunday. His ankle allowed him to play, but it didn’t allow him to be the player you normally see.

"We don’t make excuses," running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis said. "We didn't win the game today, and that's it."

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Posted on: February 5, 2012 5:59 pm
 

Gronkowski not limping, doesn't look 100 percent

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By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- With the most famous left ankle in Super Bowl XLVI, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski emerged from the locker room with Aaron Hernandez for warmups, jogging up the left sideline and showing little effect from the high-ankle sprain he suffered two weeks ago.

He didn’t have a noticeable limp, but he also didn’t quite look 100 percent. One Boston-area reporter called him “jittery,” but it seems pretty clear Gronkowski will have some kind of role vs. the Giants.

So, we’ve established he’s "definitely" playing and that he looked decent enough in warmups.
 
The next (and perhaps final) questions in determining what kind of impact Gronkowski will have today will be this: what happens when he gets hit  for the first tmie and what happens if the Giants go after his legs and ankles?

Stay tuned.

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Posted on: February 5, 2012 1:19 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 1:23 pm
 

Belichick tells reporter Gronk WILL play in SB

Gronk should get plenty of questions on Friday as well. (AP)
By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- All week long, the buzz here has been whether Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski would play and, if so, how effectively he would perform. We now have the answer to that first question at least.

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Coach Bill Belichick told the NFL Network’s Alex Flanagan that Gronkowski “will definitely play.”

He also said he’s not sure how much playing time Gronkowski will get because Belichick hasn’t seen him perform at full speed in nearly two weeks.

The announcement isn’t a surprise -- the Giants have said all week they fully expected Gronkowski to play, and the fact the Patriots released receiver Tiquan Underwood on Saturday was another indication the Patriots were comfortable with their pass-catching units.

But until we have an answer to the second question, it’s still unclear just how much Gronkowski can help vs. the Giants.

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Posted on: February 4, 2012 7:14 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 11:28 am
 

Giants.com posts ad declaring Super Bowl champs

You might see the same thing in the Pats locker room. (Giants.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- There are hundreds of preparations that go along with the Super Bowl. Hats and t-shirts are made, speeches are written and interstitial ads on websites are created. In the case of Giants.com, that ad was accidentally placed live on the site a touch early. Like, today.

If you visited Giants.com during the day on Saturday, you might have seen this ad, which gave you the option to represent your team strat via social media, shop for championship gear or just continue on to the site.

"It is common practice for both teams to create web pages in advance of the conference championship games and Super Bowl," the NFL said in a statement. "In this case, the hidden URL for the page was inadvertently available for a brief period of time while it was being positioned on the NFL server for possible post tomorrow night."

Fortunately, this is the Internet age and someone snapped up a picture of the mistake. That's precisely what this is -- every team in the Super Bowl would create the same ad (you best believe the Patriots have one ready) but someone at the Giants website turned it live too early.

And now it's going to be a motivational tool for Bill Belichick and a perceived slight at the Patriots.

It's not, but that's how it's going to look.

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 3:54 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 4:01 pm
 

Gronk practices Friday without limp, questionable

Gronk remains quite popular and is questionable for Sunday. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

As the Gronk turns is Indy's second-most popular soap opera, but things are starting to look up for Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who practiced on Friday without a limp and is listed as questionable on Friday's injury report.

Alex Marvez, the Patriots pool reporter, writes that Gronk worked out in "gray sneakers" and a  “Yo Soy Fiesta” t-shirt. Bill Belichick was, naturally, a little less specific.

"He practiced yesterday. He didn’t do anything today," Belichick said. “We’ll see where he’s at on Sunday, but hopefully [he’ll play]. I saw no setbacks. He’s still making progress.”

This was New England's final tune-up of the week, as they'll skip any actual practice on Saturday.

“We’ll have meetings and we’ll do some reminders and things like that in our hotel but we’re not going to actually practice,” Belichick said.

Belichick also believes the team, without the extra day of practice, is fully prepared for Sunday's Super Bowl matchup.

"I think we’re ready to go," Belichick said. "We’ve worked hard this week Monday, Wednesday and Thursday in practice, and we had good practices back [in Foxborough, Mass.] last week. We went through some mental-review things out there [Friday]."

One of the more interesting things to come out of Friday's practice was Belichick's participation -- according to Marvez, he literally got down on the ground with his team and worked as an offensive lineman trying to draw coverage teams offsides. 

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 9:06 am
Edited on: February 5, 2012 10:06 am
 

Belichick: Gronk hasn't experienced setbacks

Gronk got a question or two about his ankle Thursday. (Will Brinson, CBSSports.com)

By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- Another day, another couple of questions about the status of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. After Gronkowski was limited in Thursday’s practice -- the big news, of course, being that Gronkowski and his high ankle sprain actually did practice --coach Bill Belichick said Friday morning that he didn’t have setbacks and that he “was OK this morning.”

Considering Gronkowski participated in drills for the first time since his ankle injury in the AFC championship game and came away feeling fine is obviously good news for New England. The fact he didn’t have any negative effects this morning is even better news. The next step: practicing again today and, again, not experiencing any setbacks.

“Rob has worked extremely hard,” Belichick said. “He’s been in treatment morning, noon and night. Hopefully he continue to progress. He’s coming along, and he’s moving in the right direction.”

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Asked to elaborate on what exactly Gronkowski did at practice, Belichick said, “He was limited. He did some of the things that we did in practice, but not all of them.”

Then, a deadpan: “Is that what you were looking for?”

Gronkowski was slightly more verbose after Thursday’s practice.

"It's definitely huge, significant," Gronkowski said. "Obviously I want to get out there, I want to get some practice in before the Super Bowl. I want to do as much as possible, whatever I can do before the game. We'll see how I am feeling, talk to the training staff, talk to the coaches, put it all together."

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Posted on: February 2, 2012 6:42 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 7:45 pm
 

Gronkowski returns to Patriots practice Thursday

Gronk should get plenty of questions on Friday as well. (AP)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Rob Gronkowski returned to practice on a limited basis for the Patriots Thursday afternoon after an entire week of speculation about whether or not he would be able to play on Sunday.

But Patriots coach Bill Belichick didn't officially put to rest any of the concern about Gronk possibly missing the game when he delayed any further decision on Friday.

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"He did some things. He didn’t do everything," Belichick said following practice. "We’ll see how he is tomorrow. I think that will be the big key – how he responds to this today."

Gronk's status early on Friday at the media session will be telling; if he's moving around well and able to walk without any serious limitations, it'll be an excellent sign for New England. (We noted earlier on Thursday that Gronk was "strutting" prior to the media session and fake limping afterwards.)

“It was good. It was fine," Belichick said when asked how Gronk performed. "We’ll see where he is tomorrow -- whether that set him back, whether it didn’t and whether he’s able to continue to progress on a daily basis. But it was a good test for him, too, at least.

"At least he was out here and did some things to see how it feels. We’ll see how it goes."

Gronkowski, per our Patriots Rapid Reporter Paul Dehner Jr., called getting back to practice "huge" and "significant."

"It's definitely huge, significant," Gronkowski said. "Obviously I want to get out there, I want to get some practice in before the Super Bowl. I want to do as much as possible, whatever I can do before the game. We'll see how I am feeling, talk to the training staff, talk to the coaches, put it all together."

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Posted on: February 2, 2012 2:54 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 3:59 pm
 

Madonna seeks to inspire Gronkowski

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By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- If all of us can speculate about Rob Gronkowski’s ankle and whether he can play this Sunday, there’s no reason why Madonna shouldn’t weigh in on the subject as well.

So, when she was asked by a Boston TV reporter at her press conference Thursday if she thought Gronkowski would play this Sunday, she said she hoped he would (“So do I,” the reporter responded). The reporter also asked how she would respond if she suffered a high ankle sprain before her halftime performance.

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“A lot of people would say I’m a masochist,” said Madonna, who's trying to work through a hamstring injury ((seriously). “I would just tape my ankle and say prayers. Take an anti-inflammatory and get my butt out there.”

Here’s hoping Gronkowski draws inspiration from those words.

In other news, a very nervous Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, representing the OCNN, asked Madonna what advice she would give to a young football player who planned on a long career. The answer was uninteresting, but on his follow-up, McCoy asked if he could have a kiss after the press conference.

Madonna sweetly smiled and shook her head. A stunning rebuke on what had been, up until that point, a jovial occasion.


(Photo credits: Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com