June 12, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) catches a pass during mini camp at the Gillette Stadium practice facility. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

Morning Gronk




One of the first things that come to mind when someone mentions Rob Gronkowski’s name is partying. Admittedly, the star tight end from New England Patriots ranks has developed a rock star persona during last season. ‘The Gronk’ spent most of last year scoring touchdowns and when he wasn’t doing that he was hanging out with celebrities and partying.



When Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino crossed paths with Patriots [team stats] quarterback Ryan Mallett earlier this spring, he couldn’t believe his former pupil’s conditioning level. Mallett looked lean, almost skinny, and Petrino knew it was a good sign.



There are questions again this year, but the “ifs” have been replaced by “who.” The Patriots loaded up, got the gang back together and didn’t appear to be interested on experimentation. They reacquired guys who have succeeded with Tom Brady, and the competition among friends should seemingly benefit the offense.



Pressure to perform: It makes sense for Stevan Ridley to be the main man between the tackles, and Bill Belichick clearly believed he had someone to fill that role when he decided to let BenJarvus Green-Ellis walk. But Ridley has to prove he can get past the fumbling issue that ended his rookie season. The LSU product doesn’t have a history of being prone to fumbles, but crazy things seem to happen when running backs let those thoughts creep into their heads. Ridley has said he’s worked to move past it, but with such a public postseason benching, that will be the first thing that people remember if he puts the ball on the ground again.

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