Patriots

Gronkowski practices fully, says he knew he'd be ready to play in Super Bowl

Gronkowski practices fully, says he knew he'd be ready to play in Super Bowl

MINNEAPOLIS — In his first media availability since being removed from the concussion protocol, Rob Gronkowski spoke like someone who knew it was only a matter of time.

“I knew I was going to be playing [Sunday] the whole time, but I was just obviously being cautious, too,” Gronkowski said after Thursday’s practice. “I didn’t want to jump right into it right away. The team didn’t want to do it. I think we did the process very well with the training staff here, the doctors that we have. I think they did a great job preparing me to get back out on the field.”

MORE GRONKOWSKI: DBs agree: Gronk-type hits tough to avoid

Really, his words weren’t surprising given that the All-Pro tight end said Tuesday night — while still in the protocol — that he expected to play in Super Bowl LII against the Eagles. 

Gronkowski returned to practice Saturday while still in the protocol, but he wasn’t able to do everything until Thursday’s practice. He said after the practice that he took full contact and had “no problems” upon getting hit. 

MORE SUPER BOWL: The blueprint for a Pats victory

“[I did] everything. I was cleared,” Gronkowski said. “Today I was able to do everything I was asked to do out there on the field. I’ll be ready to roll in the game. I’ll be full go, ready to roll.” 

Added Gronkowski: “They won’t clear you if you’re not doing well. Everything went smooth, everything went well and I got the clearance, which feels good. I’ll be ready to roll.” 

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Trent Brown calls Patriots QB Tom Brady "one of the coolest guys" he's ever met

Trent Brown calls Patriots QB Tom Brady "one of the coolest guys" he's ever met

Trent Brown has played only one season with Tom Brady, but the offensive tackle clearly has a high opinion of the New England Patriots quarterback.

Brown was a recent guest on ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter's podcast "The Road Less Traveled", where he talked about free agency, his 2018 trade from the San Francisco 49ers to the Patriots, and more. 

The soon-to-be free agent also was asked about Brady, and he paid the 41-year-old quarterback quite a compliment.

“Tom’s really one of the coolest guys I’ve ever met in my life, and that’s no (B.S.) by any stretch of the imagination,” Brown said. “He’s really a cool guy. That’s really the only way I can say it.”

Brown is one of several current and former teammates to praise Brady over the last year or so.

Former Patriots linebacker James Harrison, who played with New England for just a few months last season, called Brady the "ultimate teammate" in January. Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, during an appearance on FOX Sports 1 show "First Things First" earlier this month, called Brady a "great teammate" and "one of the hardest workers I've ever played with."

It's hard to find a negative opinion of Brady from players who've interacted with him on a daily basis. It probably also helps that Brady is the main reason why many of these guys have a Super Bowl ring (or multiple). 

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Patriots fans will enjoy this video of Tom Brady's top 10 plays in 2018

Patriots fans will enjoy this video of Tom Brady's top 10 plays in 2018

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady took a lot of criticism during the 2018 NFL season, and a good amount of it was warranted, but the 41-year-old veteran got the last laugh when he held the Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl LIII.

Brady became the first player in NFL history to win six Super Bowls when the Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 on Feb. 3 in Atlanta. He didn't play particularly well against the Rams, but he made enough clutch plays with the game on the line in the fourth quarter.

The NFL tweeted a video Monday of Brady's top 10 plays from the 2018 season, including New England's memorable playoff run. Check out it out below:

Brady has been adamant about returning for the 2019 season, when the Patriots will try to become the first team since 2004 to repeat as Super Bowl champions. Given the way Brady played in 2018, there are plenty of reasons to believe next season's top 10 plays video will include several memorable playoff moments.

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