FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski seems to be making the same point over and over again, at every opportunity. Whether it's on Instagram, Twitter or from a podium following the first minicamp practice for the Patriots this spring, the message is clear.
He wants to train a certain way. And he wants the world to know that approach works for him. (Remember #Bandsamakeherdance?)
"Just was training on my own," he said. "Just felt like that was the best thing for me, and I wanted to take care of my body and take care of myself and see where I was at before I came out here. It went good. I think it was a good decision."
After missing the first seven weeks of the offseason program, Gronkowski returned to his first practice on Tuesday, which marked the open of the club's three-day mandatory minicamp. When the session ended, he met with reporters and was asked where his relationship is with Bill Belichick at the moment.
"It's good," he said. "Everything is good."
Then, unprompted, he launched into an explanation as to why it's so important for him to feel healthy as he continues his career. It was a relatively clear reference to how he's training these days, leaning on Alex Guerrero and the "TB12 Method."
"It just felt really good to be back out on the field and that's what matters most. I enjoyed it a lot today," he said. "I love playing the game of football. The game of football is fun when you're feeling good and if you're not feeling good -- I mean myself, I've asked many other players -- you really don't like the game of football.
"But if you're feeling good, your body feels good, your mind feels good, the joy of playing the game of football is off the charts. But at the same time, if you're not feeling good it can be awful. So I'm just making sure -- I just want to be feeling good, keep my mind clear, and keep on playing the game and enjoy it."
Why continue to bring up the training? Why continue to seemingly point to his way of doing things as the way?
It's obviously something Gronkowski feels strongly about, and as our Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran has reported, it was something that was a source of stress for the All-Pro tight end last summer as he was adjusting to new training methods and didn't look like his dominating self.
Tuesday's press conference seemed to be a once-and-for-all kind of moment for Gronkowski.
Here's why I was gone. Here's why I came back. And here's why I'm feeling as well as I do.
Does that mean it's the last we'll hear of it from him? Maybe. But training methods aren't the only source of consternation when it comes to Gronkowski at the moment. There's the matter of a new contract, too.
He said that he was "trying to" re-do his contract with the team, then answered, "Who wouldn't?" when asked if he'd like to have something done before the start of the season.
Until something gets done, maybe there will be more subtle shots across the bow at the Patriots strength program. As he showed Tuesday, he's eager to pull the trigger on the topic.