Jul 23, 2014|
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the start of Patriots training camp. Players began arriving for camp on Wednesday, and Bill Belichick broke the news that Rob Gronkowski has been cleared to play.
Transcript - will not be 100% accurate
Welcome back to football 2014. The New England Patriots are about to open up training camp. Here outside Gillette Stadium. I'm Mike to -- a long time no see partnered Christopher price of WEEI dot com. Chris safe to say were both pumped and excited for the 2014. Season. And the patriots fans have reason to be pumped and excited as well. Rob Gronkowski has been cleared to take part in training camp. He's not gonna start the year and puke PU which if you're patriots fan is certainly a cause for optimism when you're talking about drug. It's important to what you really just a complicated injury history of course hearing you talk about what you went through college caused his draft stock deploy a little bit. Outplayed 46 straight games to start his professional career going and but has played in only nine of 26 games since then because of injury you'd never think that no exactly and it's interesting when when you look at the perception of a player how quickly can change you look at what he's gone through over the last year plus. It's a good side. -- he's been cleared to play it's a good sign he'd leave right now was not on PUP. Column you'll want to with a grain of salt the because again his injury history suggests that. Yeah he's struggled -- the past but right now he's cleared he's good to go -- so that that certainly a reason for optimism mr. -- -- written about this on WEEI dot com -- last year. We were sort of in the similar position. There was discussion about whether or not the patriots would play with a shortened roster to begin the season. 52 is opposed to 53 players. The patriots. You know took that chance and did not put them on PUP. And decided to leave that spot open just in case I think this is a little bit different I think there's. Healthy optimism that if he gets in the pads -- would start on Saturday here outside Gillette Stadium. That he will be ready for the regular season or at least close to it. Exactly I think you're you're looking at a far different scenario from what we're able to glean today from talking to bill from talking to Logan getting a sense from some of his team mutually unit of listener the world we went through -- -- -- -- 2013. Where you mentioned that that the state of him catching passes last August his runner on the practice field those giant Hamburger Helper sized white gloves. In that all caused us to think well maybe he's gonna be ready soon -- later that went for about three months. And adding there was a certain level of chronic fatigue -- surrendered this team at that point I think we're looking at a situation now where he could be ready. Sooner rather -- and I think he's gonna be ready for week one but the idea of Rob Gronkowski. Playing 121416. Teams this year. Isn't as out of the question as it was in 2013. And I've got to admit to you right here right now as we're on the eve of 2014. Training camp. I did not think that was a possibility. Given how TJ ward hit him on December 8 2013. Here at July exactly you know it again you look at his history you look what it did his you've gone through over the last couple years. You're talking about a -- -- last offseason who averaged almost one surgery a month. Over the course of the off season and that's gonna take -- told let anybody out of character world class -- leader -- expect it doesn't matter. In so maybe we should has seen a little bit of that coming last year the fact that -- rundown and was able to get up to speed midway point of the seniority get to play pretty well or the course of 46 game stretch. But yeah I mean a -- to -- to your point today I think it's a little bit of a surprise the other thing it's important members of he's ready for week one. We're not talking about the same kind of turn -- that Wes Welker and went from 20092010. That was an eight month turnaround you're looking at a ten month turnaround. It's not Blake Welker but it's not too far removed to remember how we all fell all over ourselves you know praise -- walker and his ability to come back from such a devastating knee surgery. In such -- a devastating knee injury in such quick fashion. I think you Gradkowski is ready for week once again this isn't too far off. All right let's turn to some of the other news that we -- today. Percy BA rules. The patriots will practice in shorts and -- are there for the first two days so if you're planning on coming down for the first two days. A training camp don't expect to see full tilt. Hitting pat on pat at least until Saturday that was the word from bill today what does all of that mean to you Chris when you start making. Your observations from up there and. Bleachers well when it comes to troika to gronkowski specifically acting -- -- a lot more about his overall fitness level and in what he can bring to the team at this stage of the summer. Once we see him in paths even to run around in T shirts and shorts that's gonna be really tough to get a handle on if we see giving pats on Saturday Sunday. We see him. Yet after really not get ahead with guys they need get a real sense of where he has an effective he might be able again to contribute sooner -- later. But you want to be measured in your approach these first couple days with no pads it's really a lot of ways an extension of mini camp they're kind of building on that when they get bad you can really start to make some assessments. As to where guys are at this point in the season. All right some other news on Wednesday morning on the eve of training camp here at. Gillette Stadium Bill Belichick back and shouldn't be surprised by this was asked about. The text messages between Aaron Hernandez. And several members of the patriots staff including -- check himself. -- you shouldn't be shocked by this he declined any further comment I have no further comment. I -- fail any regret -- -- fail and statement of last Friday. That it was thirty -- taxes not 33 pages of tax. And Tuesday's in the news developments Michael -- the attorney for Aaron Hernandez said the situation had been settled between the patriots and Hernandez what do you make of at all. I think at this point to you know old we we would -- deceit attacks but again I think 33 tax -- what was that three or four month period. It is not. Not completely out of the ordinary is a little bit it's a little bit interest into the little bit eyebrow raising critic at the same them. I don't think it's completely out of order when he talked about a player talked to coach over the course the offseason what attracted. It's December of 2012. Through April 2013. So that was before the alleged. I'm murder vote or Oden Lloyd that certainly would not. Cover that case it would certainly cover the two cases. Prior that Aaron Hernandez has been handling but again this camp but that's another factor that's very much different the Aaron Hernandez. Controversy and distraction. Is not prevalent early on I mean it couldn't be once the trial starts that's a whole different ball of wax and and different people in the organization including Belichick of course himself. Could be called to testify but for right now we don't have that hanging over the. Exactly I think this is dramatically different. This team this training camp sets up to be dramatically different than. What this team went through last year New York you remember last year was not just turn into isn't just talking specifically about potential distractions it was not just thrown in as it was Tebow. It was whether or not Gradkowski can come back. And render the initial press conference that we sat through last year at this time it was a -- it was a circus and there were probably over a hundred reporters -- today it was noticeably more low key in anything that there were the -- a couple of news reporters there there were a handful of football writers it's a far different atmosphere around this team now that was a year ago okay as we sit on the eve of training camp 2014. For the patriots. What's -- the -- your checklist that you'll be looking for in the first couple of days gronkowski and I think Greg Johnston again we don't wanna put too much emphasis on the first couple days without pads but. You'll wanna see him up there you wanna see you moving you wanna see if he's moving cleanly if he's doing everything that he's supposed to be doing -- could be doing at this time of year. Also what does he -- defense I wanna be able to look at some of the guys who ended last year and injured reserve. Mayo Wilfork. Those guys to Tommy Kelly exactly Tommy Kelly to see where those guys are -- their overall level fitness. Don't wanna see how Revis is able to be incorporated into this defense and how he works. With the rest of the defensive backs we talked to -- McCord you a little bit earlier today about -- acclamation process and getting up to speed playing alongside new guys that digs some time that's got to take some time Revis being a world class. Quarterback it's still go to. It is still going to be getting used to process you know kind of -- getting to know you process involving all of those defensive -- learning how to play together. And for the record Brandon -- Chris will be able to take part. In practice he will not be obviously due to a suspension able to play in the first four regular season games. But he will be able to take part. In training camp practices that's another guy that I'm gonna have a close -- yeah exactly you wanna be able to see how he works with the other quarterbacks who wanna be able to see how he works with the defense -- backs. Two things worth noting the first couple days -- -- -- a wanna see who's gonna get the ball that wraps it kick returner. You know because -- Bowen is no longer here Deborah -- -- Julian out of those guys or some other possibilities Josh Boyce Kimbrel Tompkins -- figuring the mix as well. Also is gonna play in strong safety is -- going to be Chung is it going to be Tebow Wilson. Who would -- according really talked up today. -- talked is that said he really did a good job over the course last year -- really working hard even though he wasn't get the reps so those are two more areas but a lot of focus though the first completed. All right this breeze that you see it in and around us and certainly probably carried around us will be much. Much to the benefit of the players and the relief of the players. Temperatures expected in the mid. Eighties to maybe even approaching ninety degrees -- dollar check clubs that. For conditioning so patriots camp about to get under way. Here at Gillette Stadium Rob Gronkowski. Has been cleared to participate. That is the big news of the day here outside Gillette Stadium for Christopher price I'm Mike -- rally at WEEI dot com.