Patriots

Ex-Steelers coach believes Rob Gronkowski's workout with Tom Brady was a sign

Ex-Steelers coach believes Rob Gronkowski's workout with Tom Brady was a sign

Retired tight end Rob Gronkowski supposedly is moving onto his "next chapter," which we'll hear about in an upcoming press conference.

But those in NFL circles are reading different writing on the wall.

Speaking to The Boston Globe's Ben Volin on Tuesday, former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher joined a chorus of current and former NFL players and coaches who believe Gronkowski will return to the New England Patriots before season's end.

And to Cowher, Gronkowski's July workout session with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady at UCLA was a sign that the (former) tight end is at least staying in the loop.

"They just happened to be in the same city at the same time," Cowher told Volin. "It’s funny how that worked out."

"I have a hard time believing that Tom and Gronk haven’t talked, just from the standpoint of, ‘Let’s see how this thing unfolds, and to stay in shape,' " Cowher added.

Brady did acknowledge recently that Gronkowski's immense talent is irreplaceable. The Patriots are also glaringly weak at tight end: Their options behind 38-year-old Ben Watson, who's suspended for the first four games, are guys like Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo and recent pickups Lance Kendricks and Eric Saubert.

If none of those players pan out, it's certainly plausible Brady gives Gronkowski a call at some point during the regular season. But the 30-year-old has slimmed down considerably in retirement, so would a mid-season return even be plausible?

Cowher says yes.

"(Gronkowski) doesn’t need training camp,” Cowher added. “He knows the terminology. The biggest thing will be getting in football shape. But what’s football shape if you’re only playing 25-30 snaps a game?

“I would not discount him coming back at any point in the season."

Join the club, Bill.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Antonio Brown, Robert Kraft, Pats and Bruins among most searched on Google in 2019

Antonio Brown, Robert Kraft, Pats and Bruins among most searched on Google in 2019

You people are searching Antonio Brown on Google way, way too much. 

Seriously, the former New England Patriots wide receiver was the fifth most searched on Google in 2019, according to CNN. He also ranked as the No. 1 person searched and first in athletes searched.

To go along with Brown, Pats owner Robert Kraft was the tenth most searched person in 2019 -- it's no surprise either considering the major massage parlor scandal he was involved in. The Pats were also the second most searched NFL team behind the Dallas Cowboys, according to Google. 

The Boston Bruins also were the first most searched NHL team following their devastating loss to the St. Louis Blues in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. The New England Revolution landed at No. 6 in the most searched MLS clubs. Both the Boston Red Sox and Celtics failed to make the list. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

 

 

Bengals coach Zac Taylor won't comment about Patriots videotaping investigation

Bengals coach Zac Taylor won't comment about Patriots videotaping investigation

The news of Patriots-affiliated photographers videotaping the Bengals' sideline went mainstream when Cincinnati head coach Zac Taylor was asked about it Monday.

And though he only offered limited commentary — he said he was "aware there was an incident" and that "the league was investigating it" — the response turned into national headlines and easy jokes from Patriots haters across the country.

Taylor had another chance to offer his thoughts on the situation Thursday morning during a conference call with the New England media, but he stayed away from further commentary. Far, far away. 

Here's the exchange:

Q: What are your general thoughts on the videotaping situation with the Patriots?
ZT: I have no comment on that.

Q: Some reports have said that you are livid about the situation. Is that true?
ZT: I have no comment on that.

Q: How much do you and your coaching staff use hand signals during games?
ZT:
I think, like any team, we communicate visually and verbally, depending on the environment we’re in.

Q: Do you believe the Patriots’ explanation for this situation?
ZT: I don’t have any comment on any of that stuff.

Q: Has anyone from the Patriots organization reached out to you to clear the air?
ZT: I don’t have any comment on any of that.

Q: Why do you believe it’s in your best interest not to have any comment at any point on this ongoing incident that’s affected your team?
ZT:
Because this is a tough opponent right now, and we’re devoting all of our time to making sure we’re prepared. And so that’s where all of our focus has been on.

Q: Your time now is spent with us, though.
ZT: Yeah, it is. And I have no comment.

Q: Do you regret anything about how this all transpired?
ZT: No. 

Well, that explains that. Or does it? According to the Boston Globe's Ben Volin, Bengals employees were reportedly "livid" about the videotaping.

If Taylor really isn't letting this situation distract him from the task at hand, that's because it's already a big enough challenge for the first-year coach. His 1-12 Bengals are 10-point underdogs to the Patriots Sunday.

LISTEN & SUBSCRIBE TO TOM E. CURRAN'S PATRIOTS TALK PODCAST: 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.