Rob Gronkowski took his first step Thursday toward a return to the playing field in 2014 with reconstructive surgery on his right ACL.

The procedure was performed by renown orthopedic surgery Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla. On site with Gronkowski were his father Gordy Gronkowski and Gronkowski’s super agent Drew Rosenhaus, who tweeted after the procedure that Andrews said the surgery “went very well.”

FOXBORO -- If you want to know how to make movies, you ask Steven Spielberg. Got a question about making money, call Bill Gates.

And if you have a question about toughness, you go to Logan Mankins.

FOXBORO ‘€” The Patriots Thursday practice report was the same as it was the day before, with rookie receiver Aaron Dobson the only player absent from the session.

Sporting News NFL writer Vinnie Iyer, in an interview with WEEI’s Mut & Merloni show to discuss his breakdown of the eight playoff quarterbacks that ranked Patriots

CBS analysts Phil Simms and Dan Dierdorf talked about Saturday’s divisional playoff game between the Patriots and Colts on a conference call earlier this week:

FOXBORO — Aaron Dobson was the only player missing from the start of Patriots practice on Thursday, and it’s looking more and more like the rookie receiver won’t be available for Saturday’s divisional playoff contest against the Colts at Gillette Stadium.

FOXBORO -- This past offseason, Aqib Talib bet on himself. But while he’s had an impressive regular season, he knows that a big playoff performance could mean a big payoff sooner rather than later.

FOXBORO — Logan Mankins was one of nine players limited at outdoor practice Wednesday at Gillette Stadium while Aaron Dobson was the only one not to participate, per the Patriots official injury report released Wednesday afternoon.

FOXBORO — Josh McDaniels isn’t going anywhere.

According to a tweet from ESPN football reporter Adam Schefter Wednesday afternoon, the Patriots offensive coordinator, who reportedly interviewed with his hometown Browns on Saturday, has withdrawn his name from the search to replace Rob Chudzinski. McDaniels was a quarterback star for his father Thom McDaniels at Canton McKinley high school, just 45 miles south of Cleveland.

FOXBORO — Bill Belichick isn’t worried about Deion Branch giving away trade secrets this week prior to the Patriots’ showdown with the Colts at Gillette Stadium.