Patriots

Julian Edelman explains what Patriots will miss with Rob Gronkowski retired

Julian Edelman explains what Patriots will miss with Rob Gronkowski retired

The New England Patriots are going to miss recently retired Rob Gronkowski's impact on the field as one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history, but what he did for the team off the field also was very important.

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman explained Tuesday during an interview on WFAN's "Boomer & Gio" what the Patriots will miss this season without their historically dominant tight end.

“He’s definitely going to be missed," Edelman said. "Not just his athletic ability and what he does on the field, but how he is in the locker room. I’ve played nine or 10 years with the guy, and to see him every day and how he was as a professional — he never really had a bad day.

"When you play a long time with someone, you know them in and out. He’s such a good human being. Great dude to be around, like a big old teddy bear. Those are the things you’re going to miss the most. You go into Week 13, it’s been a grind, you’re banged up. We just had a long flight. We have a short week and you go into the office, you know, and sometimes it’s not easy to have a great attitude. You look at Gronk and Gronk’s over there in his locker, naked, smiling like, ‘Hey, what’s up, dude?’ That’s just Gronk, and those are the things you’re going to miss and obviously you’re going to miss his attributes.” 

Replacing what Gronkowski gave the Patriots on the field should be among the toughest challenges facing the team this season.

Matt LaCosse and veteran Benjamin Watson are the two-best options to start at tight end for the Patriots in 2019. Watson is suspended for the first four games, and LaCosse has 20 games of NFL experience, so New England isn't in a great spot at the position with training camp one month away.

The Patriots, as a result, will need multiple players to step up and help fill the on-field production Gronkowski would have provided, and two of the best candidates for the job are Edelman and rookie wide receiver N'Keal Harry.

Edelman had a very good regular season in 2018 after missing the first four games due to suspension, and then he played even better in the playoffs, culminating with a Super Bowl LIII MVP performance. He's also Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's most trusted target on third down. Harry is a big, strong target that could be a real threat in the redzone -- a role Gronkowski filled so well for nine years.

The Patriots often do a great job replacing important players who leave in free agency or retirement, but this might be their greatest challenge yet. One player isn't going to replace Gronkowski -- it has to be a group effort on the Pats' offense.

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Patriots legend Richard Seymour opens up about poker career

Patriots legend Richard Seymour opens up about poker career

When athletes retire from the sport they've played their whole lives, it's natural for them to miss the competition. That feeling is no different for former Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour.

The Hall-of-Fame hopeful, though, has chosen a unique way to get the competitive juices flowing. On July 11, he finished an impressive 131st at the World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas, taking home $59,295. 

"Once you’re done playing football you still have a competitive drive,” Seymour told Yahoo! Sports. “Poker is an outlet for me where I have a competitive drive, you have to be very cerebral. It requires a lot like it did for me in football – I have to be patient, I have to know how to pick my spots, pay attention to guys’ tendencies. It was just a natural progression after leaving sports at a high level.”

Seymour, according to Yahoo! Sports, learned how to play poker from his father and picked it up at a competitive level shortly after he retired from the NFL in 2012. In last week's WSOP, he peaked at $3.6 million. Seymour said he's used his Super Bowl ring as a chip holder to intimidate competitors at the poker table. He also said he takes advantage of his status as a football legend, often bluffing when opponents assume he'll be an aggressive player. 

“Some guys play me differently because they say, ‘If I knock Richard Seymour out it’s a cool story to tell my buddies’,” he said. “Which I don’t mind that, it just depends on how I’m feeling that day...“My temperament fits poker well; I’m naturally kind of reserved, I’m not super emotional one way or another, so if bad things happen, which they’re going to in poker, it’s about how do you respond?”

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Patriots involved in 3 of top-10 most-watched sporting events of 2019

Patriots involved in 3 of top-10 most-watched sporting events of 2019

Hate them or love them, America has watched the Patriots more than any other team — in any sport — in 2019.

According to sportsmediawatch.com, all 10 of the most-watched sporting events of 2019 were NFL games. No World Series, Stanley Cup Final or NBA Finals games made the list. Of the 10 highest-rated events, three of them included the Patriots. 

Unsurprisingly, the Super Bowl matchup between the Pats and Los Angeles Rams topped the list with more than 100 million viewers including online streams (in parentheses). Both New England's AFC Championship game against the Chiefs and its Division Round contest with the Chargers also cracked the top-10. 

The television ratings suggest that the NFL is still head-and-shoulders above other leagues in popularity, and the Patriots are leading the charge. 

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