Patriots

Gronkowski apologizes for cheap shot, but expresses frustration with lack of calls

Gronkowski apologizes for cheap shot, but expresses frustration with lack of calls

BUFFALO -- Rob Gronkowski acted like a kid who knew he did something wrong, but at the same time felt there was at least a sliver of justification in his actions.

The Patriots’ all-world tight end channeled his inner-WWE past -- and, potentially, his future -- by dropping a forearm shiver/elbow drop on the head of Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White late in the Pats’ 23-3 victory over Buffalo. White, who had intercepted a Tom Brady toss intended for Gronkowski, immediately left the game and is being evaluated for a concussion. Meanwhile, Gronk got flagged but not ejected for the cheap shot.

PATRIOTS 23, BILLS 3

“First of all, I defintely want to apologize to number 27,” said Gronkowski. “I’m not in the business of that. There was a lot of frustration. I was just really frustrated at that moment and it just happened naturally through emotions and frustrations. I just want to apologize to Tre'Davious White. I don’t really believe in any types of shots like that but just through the frustration process -- the game of football -- emotions, (it's) what happened.”

Apologies aside, Gronk made it clear that he felt the officials had a tough day. On that route alone, he felt as if he was interfered or held three or four times and yet the refs neglected to throw a flag.

“At the top of the route I felt like it was big held,” he said when asked why he was so agitated by the play. “Then the throw -- there was definitely I feel like he kinda pushed me a little bit and made the play. I just don’t understand why there wasn’t a flag.”

It wasn’t just there on that play. Gronk told me after his brief media scrum that he couldn’t fathom either the offensive pass interference he got hit with early in the game or the holding call late. He claimed defensive end Jerry Hughes went so far as to tell him that last call was idiotic.

“There was a couple of times during the game they’re calling me for the craziest stuff ever,” said Gronkowski “It was just crazy. Like, what am I suppose to do? And then they don’t call [the play by White]? It was just frustration and that’s what happened.”

This has been a common theme with the Pats’ nearly uncoverable tight end, who tortured the Bills once again with 9 catches in 11 targets for 147 yards. The team and the player both feel there are two sets of rules -- one from Gronk, one for everyone else. 

Publicly, Gronk wouldn’t address it, 

“I don’t know, he said, “I just gotta keep playing hard.”

But, when pressed, he did add that this frustration hasn’t been a result of the last couple of games, or even the last couple of years.

“Over the past seven years,” he exclaimed.

Gronkowski said he doesn’t fear a suspension, as he has no past history with the league office. But he did admit that type of behavior can’t happen again.

“That definitely could hurt the team,” he acknowledged. “Obviously it didn’t hurt the team there [today] but it definitely could in the future. I gotta keep my cool.”

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Butler: Retweet of Cutler-carving-Patriots-blitz stat 'a big misunderstanding'

Butler: Retweet of Cutler-carving-Patriots-blitz stat 'a big misunderstanding'

FOXBORO -- Malcolm Butler has an unsolved mystery on his hands. 

After Monday night’s loss to the Dolphins, Butler retweeted a Pro Football Focus graphic that detailed how well Jay Cutler did when the Patriots blitzed him.

The retweet was later un-retweeted...or de-tweeted. And Butler said on Wednesday that he wasn't sure how it ended up there in the first place. 

"I don't know," Butler said. "Totally a misunderstanding."

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He was asked if he was hacked. He was asked if he mis-hit the retweet link while scrolling through Twitter. He would not confirm any of those suggestions, insisting he had no idea how it happened and that it was an accident.

Though the retweet, which came relatively quickly after the game, served as an indication of Butler's feelings toward the play-calling in Miami, he did not say much to put to bed any notions that he would've liked to see fewer blitzes. 

When asked if he was disappointed in the gameplan, he replied, "Nah. Next question."

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Injury report: Brady practices, Branch missing

patriots_brady_072717.jpg

Injury report: Brady practices, Branch missing

Tom Brady who has missed Wednesday practices the past few weeks and skipped back-to-back practices last week with an Achilles injury, was back at practice today as the Patriots geared up for their showdown with the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Rob Gronkowski was back after missing last week while serving his one-game suspension. Defensive lineman Trey Flowers was back as one of several limited participants after missing the Monday night loss to the Dolphins and newly signed receiver Kenny Britt also practice. Defensive lineman Alan Branch, who injured his knee against the Dolphins, didn't practice.

Here's the full injury report: