Patriots

Rob Gronkowski teases Patriots fans, details enticing comeback scenario

Rob Gronkowski teases Patriots fans, details enticing comeback scenario

If Rob Gronkowski wants to quiet the comeback chatter, he certainly isn't helping his own cause.

The former New England Patriots tight end recently joined ESPN's "The Adam Schefter Podcast" to discuss retired life and his new business venture with a line of Cannabidiol-based medical products called CBDMedic.

Schefter also asked Gronkowski the obvious question: Would the 30-year-old consider returning to the Patriots this season if quarterback Tom Brady gave him a call?

Gronkowski began with a lighthearted joke.

"If he comes over and rubs some CBDMedic on me, then I'll feel twice as good, and then I'll be ready to go," Gronkowski said of Brady.

But Gronk then seemed to entertain the idea of a comeback by talking through the scenario out loud.

"He calls me up, and I'll be like, 'So, am I just showing up to the game? Are you going to give me the game plan on Saturday and then I have to stay at the hotel the night before?' Gronkowski said.

"What if I just showed up to the game one day? Can you do that? Is that possible? If I just showed up to a game, no practices, no nothing; I just went over the script with Tom in my backyard on Saturday, showed up to a game on Sunday and was ready to go. How crazy would that be?"

Schefter informed Gronk that was indeed possible -- which allowed the ex-tight end to complete his dream scenario.

"Hey, why not?" he added. "I just have like five plays in the game and they're all just go routes. And he just launches up the ball five times to me. Yeah, there you go. Just throw me the ball five times, I've got five plays."

We're sure Patriots fans would support this scenario, especially if Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo and Ben Watson aren't getting the job done at tight end.

Gronk's daydream is unlikely, as we can't see head coach Bill Belichick thrusting him into game action off the street. (Gronk also told Schefter he's shed 20 pounds from his playing weight.)

But as long as he keeps a potential return on the table, Patriots fans can dream along with him.

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Bill Belichick confident in Patriots' safety protocols despite opt-outs

Bill Belichick confident in Patriots' safety protocols despite opt-outs

The New England Patriots already have had eight players opt out of the 2020 NFL season, and few would blame Bill Belichick -- the oldest head coach in the league at 68 -- if he made a similar decision.

So, did concerns about COVID-19 lead Belichick to consider not coaching in 2020? It doesn't appear so.

"I feel very good about the environment that we're in," Belichick said Friday in a video conference with reporters. "I feel fine."

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Belichick also confirmed no coaches on his staff have backed out of the 2020 season.

The Patriots are in the "acclimation period" of training camp, with players going through non-padded walk-throughs outside Gillette Stadium as they ramp up for their first padded practice on Aug. 17.

According to Belichick, the players and staff in the building feel confident in their safety so far.

"I can't speak for everybody, but I think my impression is that as an organization, as a coaching staff, the support people, the players -- there's a comfort level with what we're doing and who's doing it and how we're doing it, and we're being productive," Belichick said.

"So, if concerns or problems come up, then we'll address those. But right now, I think it's a good working environment. We're getting a lot done."

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The Patriots, like every other team, have to follow rigorous safety protocols that include frequent COVID-19 tests, temperature checks and physical distancing measures. That "new normal" will take some getting used to, but Belichick believes the protocols have helped create an environment that coaches and staff feel safe in.

"The organization has taken a lot of steps to ensure everyone's safety and opportunity to do their job and do it safely and do it productively," Belichick said. 

"Certainly there's a lot of responsibility on each one of us to do things in a way that doesn't affect others negatively, that we take the proper precautions that we can and should, so that's what we're doing."

Mohamed Sanu shouts out Cam Newton in Patriots practice Instagram post

Mohamed Sanu shouts out Cam Newton in Patriots practice Instagram post

Mohamed Sanu finally doesn't have to fly across the country to work out with his new quarterback.

The New England Patriots began Phase 1 of training camp this week by hitting the practice field as a team outside Gillette Stadium.

That means Cam Newton joined his Patriots teammates in an official capacity for the first time, and Sanu seems pretty excited about having his new quarterback in the building.

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Here's the Instagram shout-out Sanu gave Newton Thursday on Instagram via a photo of the two in Patriots gear at training camp:

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Beannnn & Ace booogie wit da hoodie

A post shared by Mohamed Sanu Sr. (@mohamedsanu) on

Sanu and Newton teamed up for informal throwing sessions in Los Angeles just days after the 31-year-old quarterback signed with the Patriots in free agency and appeared to develop a strong connection.

Like Newton, Sanu has a lot to prove this season after an ankle injury plagued his 2019 campaign with New England. The 30-year-old sprained his ankle in his second game with the Patriots last season after a midseason trade from the Atlanta Falcons and caught three passes or fewer in his final six games of the season.

Sanu projects to be the Patriots' No. 2 wide receiver this season behind Julian Edelman, so if he can stay healthy, he could go a long way in helping Newton and the Patriots finding success this season despite a wave of player opt-outs.