Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski

FOXBORO — While he was not on the practice field with his teammates, Rob Gronkowski was at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, according to a source.

Gronkowski apparently arrived and departed at roughly the same time as the rest of his teammates on Tuesday. The only difference was that the big tight end was not on the field for the first of three mandatory minicamp practices.

While Gronkowski was in Foxboro, it remains unclear as to why he wasn’t on the field at the time. Patriots coach Bill Belichick didn’t shed much light on Gronkowski’s absence.

“There are a lot of players that were not on the field,” Belichick told reporters following Tuesday’s workout. “They were doing other things.”

Was Gronkowski expected to be there?

“All of our players are. They’re doing other things,” Belichick said.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Earlier on Tuesday, the NFL’s official Twitter account was hacked and posted a series of tweets saying commissioner Roger Goodell had died.

Earlier on Tuesday, the NFL’s official Twitter account was hacked and posted a series of tweets saying commissioner Roger Goodell had died.

It didn’t take long for the NFL to clarify the account was indeed hacked and later reported the league is investigating the matter with law enforcement being involved.

Goodell himself later took to Twitter to joke about the matter, posting a picture of himself with the caption: Man, you leave the office for 1 day of golf w/ @JimKelly1212 & your own network kills you off. #harsh

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Chris Hogan is already sounding like a Patriot. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports)

Chris Hogan is already sounding like a Patriot. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — Chris Hogan has only been a member of the Patriots a few months, but he’s already talking like he’s been on the team a few years.

Following the team’s first minicamp practice on Tuesday, Hogan was asked his No. 1 takeaway from actually being a member of the Patriots, coming after playing in the AFC East for six seasons.

“Accountable,” he said. “You’re playing 100 percent every single down and do your job. That is kind of stressed to us every single day. One thing coach [Bill] Belichick has been saying is to keep from losing before you start and I think that is what we’re doing out here. We’re learning and holding ourselves accountable so that when it comes time for the season we’re ready to go.”

Hogan was a restricted free agent with the Bills following last season Hogan, but he signed a three-year offer sheet with the Patriots worth $12 million, which the Bills quickly decided they wouldn’t match, making Hogan a Patriot.

Listed at 6-foot-1, Hogan isn’t the tallest receiver, but the Patriots and Tom Brady are known to have smaller receivers be successful in their offense such as Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola right now and Wes Welker and Troy Brown in the past.

The Monmouth product admitted he did think about that before signing.

“I mean, it’s intriguing definitely,” Hogan said. “You see what these guys do during the season and they are very successful.”

With Amendola and Edelman not participating in minicamp and OTAs due to injury, Hogan has seen increased reps with Brady, which is a good thing for a new player to the team. Hogan doesn’t quite know what his role will be with the team this season, but for now is enjoying getting to know his new teammates and the playbook.

“It’s early. Right now I’m just trying to take advantage of all this time that I have,” Hogan said when asked what his role might be. “We have all these OTAs and I’ve had a lot of time to sit and learn the playbook. It’s a lot, but for me it’s fun coming into a new offense and learning from Josh (McDaniels and Chad (O’Shea) and Tom (Brady) and Jimmy (Garoppolo) — all those guys — and Julian (Edelman). Just being able to learn this offense and try and be part of it come training camp.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Ryan Hannable discuss the debut of Malcolm Butler at Patriots mini-camp, his contract status and what to make of the absence of an apparently healthy Rob Gronkowski, who missed the mandatory workout Tuesday outside Gillette Stadium. The pair also discuss an impressive workout from wide receiver Aaron Dobson, who caught a long touchdown pass from Jimmy Garoppolo in 11-on-11 drills.

Blog Author: 
WEEI


FOXBORO — There are a number of players on the defensive side of the ball with expiring contracts following the 2016 season, but there’s also a fairly big-name on offense in the same boat — tight end Martellus Bennett.

Bennett was traded from the Bears this past offseason with one year remaining on his deal. The 29-year-old is making just over $5 million this season and said Tuesday following the first day of minicamp he isn’t thinking about this being the last year of his contract.

“I feel like every year is the last year of my contract,” Bennett said. “It’s just how I live. I’m not really concerned about it. I haven’t even thought about it actually until you just told me.”

Even at 29 years old, Bennett said there are still ways he can be better. His best year came in 2014 when he caught 90 passes for 916 yards and six touchdowns. The Patriots are his fourth team in nine NFL seasons.

“I think football is a sport you can never fully reach your potential,” Bennett said. “It’s very aggravating because there is always something little you can do better. I was fortunate to play with guys like Jason Witten, Terrell Owens — a lot of guys like that early in my career. The way they worked and constantly tried to find one way to get better and I think you can never truly be all you can be because there is always something you can be doing better.”

Bennett made some news when following the last open media OTA session where he made several nice plays, he tweeted: It’s just OTAS. The tight end clarified what he meant.

“Just OTAs, a lot of fans were on Instagram and stuff like that. It’s just OTAs and you just work to get better,” Bennett said. “Right now, the plays in the season are made in the summer. Whether it is workouts away from here or workouts with the team, that is when you train to make plays during the season. Being the start of OTAs doesn’t really mean anything. It means you’re constantly working and trying to be the best player you can at the end of the day.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — Cornerback Malcolm Butler said Tuesday that he he missed workouts earlier this spring because of “family issues,” but offered a no comment when it came to his contract situation.

Malcolm Butler

Malcolm Butler

FOXBORO — Cornerback Malcolm Butler said Tuesday that he he missed workouts earlier this spring because of “family issues,” but offered a no comment when it came to his contract situation.

“There was a big misunderstanding. I had some off the field issues. That’s that,” Butler said when asked about his absences from OTAs earlier this spring. “Family issues. Something like that.”

There was some speculation that Butler was looking for a new deal.

“It is what it is,” he said when asked about his current contract situation. “I’m going to play hard, no matter what. It is what it is.

Asked if there was any conversation about a new deal, he deferred.

“I’m not sure about it. I can control only what i can control. I’m just out here playing football,” he said.

He was if he believed he was deserving of a new deal.

“I have no comment on that,” he said. “All I can do is just go out there and play football and make plays for the team. Whatever. To help the team win. That’s what I’m all about.”

Butler expressed excitement about the opportunity to get back on the field with the rest of his teammates.

“It feels great. Just trying to get out here and get better. Do anything to help the team win,” he said. “It feels good. We have a good group of cornerbacks. Everybody out there competing.

“We’re just out here competing, doing whatever we can to help make the team better.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — Bill Belichick is doing his best not to feed into the mystery surrounding Rob Gronkowski.

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski

FOXBORO — Bill Belichick is doing his best not to feed into the mystery surrounding Rob Gronkowski.

The Patriots superstar tight end missed the first day of mandatory mini-camp Tuesday at Gillette Stadium. When asked, the Patriots coach hinted that Gronkowski was actually in the building but just not practicing on the field.

“There are a lot of players that were not on the field,” Belichick told reporters in the heat of the sun. “They were doing other things.”

Was Gronkowski expected to be there?

“All of our players are. They’re doing other things,” Belichick said.

What wasn’t clear from the answer was whether Belichick was indicating that all players are expected to be at camp or whether, indeed, they “are” in the building.

Gronkowski has been spotted often recently around Boston, including at the Myra Kraft MVP Community awards last week, where he took a break from working out to make an appearance with Tom Brady at Gillette’s Putnam Club.

Gronkowski was one of several players not spotted Tuesday. Also not on hand were Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, LeGarrette Blount, Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer.

Belichick was also asked if all players reported to mini-camp.

“I don’t know. Whoever is here is here,” the coach said.

There were special guests on hand Tuesday for the start of mini-camp as members of the Navy football coaching staff stood on the side and observed.

“They’re just up here to watch what we’re doing. We have a great relationship with Ken [Niumatalolo],” Belichick said of the head coach of the Midshipmen. “He’s been a good friend and everything I’ve asked, he’s always been there for me.”

Joe Cardona, a graduate of the Naval Academy in 2015, reported to mini-camp on Tuesday. He is beginning his second year with the Patriots.

Belichick said he didn’t know the status of his long-snapper and his availability going forward this summer or whether Naval commitments might take precedence.

“Just keep making progress,” Belichick said. “Each day, just try to build on the day before. A lot of new faces, a lot of new installation, so just grind through it day by day.

“We’re all starting all over. We’re all starting all over, coaches, players, everybody. It’s a new year, we’re all starting over.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia