FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — Two of the New England Patriots’ biggest stars took the practice field with their teammates Tuesday for the first time since their loss in the Super Bowl.
QB Tom Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski suited up for the start of the team’s minicamp, which runs until Thursday.
Both elected to skip the voluntary organized team activities (OTA’s), fueling speculation of tension at the top of the organization, but were expected to return for this week’s mandatory practices.
Head coach Bill Belichick told reporters he’s “always had a good relationship with Tom” but otherwise focused on the work they’re doing on the field.
“Everybody’s out here,” he said. “Myself, all the coaches, all the players – we’re all doing the same thing. We’re trying to get ready for the season and take every day, every opportunity we can to put ourselves in the best position to have a good training camp and have a good season.”
Brady did not address the media on Tuesday but Gronkowski said he’s glad to be getting back to business.
“It was good competition today. It was fast,” he said. “Just feels good to be back out there, seeing where I’m at, see how the body feels and everything.”
“Tom looked great,” Gronkowski added. “I don’t think he’s ever going to look bad.”
As for his absence during OTA’s, Gronkowski said he was training on his own.
“Just felt like that was the best thing for me and I wanted to take care of my body, take care of myself and see where I was at,” he said.
Another rumor that made the rounds this offseason was that the Pro Bowl tight end was considering retirement.
“Definitely was in my mind,” Gronkowski said when asked about it. “I had to do what I had to do, where I felt good enough to get my body prepared, get my body right again, see where my body was at, see where my mind was at, and I’m glad to be back out here. I feel like I definitely made the right decision.”