Patriots

Patriots' Jim Whalen honored as Outstanding NFL Athletic Trainer of the Year

Patriots' Jim Whalen honored as Outstanding NFL Athletic Trainer of the Year

INDIANAPOLIS -- It was a good year for Patriots head trainer Jim Whalen. His team won the Super Bowl, and it did so in part thanks to a remarkable run of good health.

On Thursday, the good times rolled on for Whalen as he was given the Fain-Cain Memorial Award for Outstanding NFL Athletic Trainer of the Year by the NFL Physicians Society.

“Jim is a consummate professional in his interactions with players, coaches, ownership, medical and training staff,” said Dr. Paul Cusick M.D., physician and voting member for the New England Patriots. “Jim is an advocate for the players [and] is both an excellent listener and diagnostician. He is able to pinpoint the source of an injury and then construct a program to rehabilitate the player to minimize time lost and optimize performance and prevent injury.”

The Patriots went stretches late in the 2018 season without a single player unavailable or limited in practice. While bumps and bruises (and more) are inevitable, that the team was able to roll out its top lineup week after week is a credit to the work done by Whalen and his staff, including director of rehabilitation/assistant athletic trainer Joe Van Allen, along with head physician Mark Price, team strength and conditioning coach Moses Cabrera, nutritionist Ted Harper and others.

Whalen became New England's head athletic trainer in 2002 and has been a part of five Super Bowl-winning teams.

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Watch Rob Gronkowski's wild intro as WrestleMania 36 host

Watch Rob Gronkowski's wild intro as WrestleMania 36 host

Rob Gronkowski may be done with football, but he continues to find ways to entertain us on our television screens.

The former New England Patriots tight end is hosting WrestleMania 36 this weekend alongside WWE star Mojo Rawley. And as one would expect, Gronk brought the energy to start off the two-night event.

“[WWE] picked the right guy [to host WrestleMania], because I know how to start a party on a Saturday night and end it 30 hours later," Gronk quipped in his introduction.

Watch below:

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Between the WWE and his various other ventures, Gronkowski seemingly has been everywhere these last few weeks. He appeared on SmackDown, was revealed as White Tiger in "The Masked Singer," and participated in a virtual beer pong tournament for coronavirus relief.

In other words, retirement seems to be treating the future Pro Football Hall of Famer well.

Stephon Gilmore seems to think covering new Bills WR Stefon Diggs will be 'light work'

Stephon Gilmore seems to think covering new Bills WR Stefon Diggs will be 'light work'

Does New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore think covering new Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs will be "light work?" 

It certainly seems that way. Gilmore defended Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper after former Bills and New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan called Cooper a "turd" on ESPN's "Get Up."

The 29-year-old called Cooper one of the "toughest receivers in the league to cover," but when a fan responded saying Diggs will be tougher, another fan said he'd be "light work" and Gilmore liked that tweet. 

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Will Diggs really be that difficult for the Defensive Player of the Year to handle? It's tough to say, but Diggs put up some impressive numbers with the Minnesota Vikings before being traded to the Bills.

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In five seasons with the Vikings, Diggs has 4,623 yards and 30 touchdowns -- he's had 1,000-plus yards receiving in back-to-back years and has never played a full 16-game season. On the other hand, Gilmore had six interceptions last season with two touchdowns, 44 solo tackles and a fumble recovery. 

With the Patriots and Bills set to meet at least twice next season, it'll be interesting to see how things shake out.