Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Gronk looks forward to getting hit before season


New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has checked off pretty much every needed requirement to ensure he's ready to get back to the starting lineup -- rigorous rehab regimens, the all-clear from medical professionals, even full-pad workouts.

The next step? Being prepared for a legit shot from an opposing defender.

“You always expect to take a hit before you step out on the field before any game,” Gronkowski said Tuesday, via the Boston Globe. “You’ve got to be prepared and you’ve got to be ready, and whenever that is, I’m obviously going to take some hits in practice before I have to step out on the field.”

Even hits in practice are a little ways away, as Gronkowski reportedly shied away from team contact drills during Tuesday's training camp session. Regardless of when that time comes, the stability of Gronk's knee will be of particular concern, especially given the fact the two-time Pro Bowler hasn't played a full season since 2011.

The 25-year-old seems fully aware of the danger he faces once he's back on the field, and his awareness -- particularly for which direction the hits are coming from -- will be of utmost importance as he gets back into three-down participation.

“It’s the NFL, you’re hitting every single play, every single down, and you can be hit anywhere,” he said. “Just have to be aware who’s coming at you, where they’re coming at you. You’ve got to make a move, you’ve got to dive, get out of the way, you got to put your shoulder down.”

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