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News Blitz 7/21: Rob Gronkowski says he's planning on playing the whole season

Posted Jul 21, 2014

The Patriots.com News Blitz gets you up-to-date on the latest Patriots news from local and national media.

Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston writes that Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski is optimistic about his status for the start of the season as he continues his recovery from ACL surgery.

"I'm planning on playing the whole season this year," Gronkowski said Friday night during his Football 101 Women's Clinic. READ MORE>>

Mike Reiss also predicts that rookie RB James White will make an early impact this season.

"White had a solid spring minicamp 'season', and his combination of production as a rusher and receiver appears to be an ideal fit for a Patriots offense that values a diverse skill set," writes Reiss. "We’ll define 'early impact' this way: White will play more than 20 percent of the offensive snaps this season." READ MORE>>

Zuri Berry of Boston.com wonders if veterans such as Ryan Wendell, Dan Connolly, and Tommy Kelly can hold off the Patriots' youngsters in training camp.

"A number of the Patriots draft picks are positioned to keep their veteran counterparts on their toes in camp, including center Bryan Stork, guard Jon Halapio, and defensive tackle Dominique Easley," notes Berry. "The interior offensive line and the defensive line needed a boost and the Patriots addressed that pretty well in the draft." READ MORE>>

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald writes that second-year LB Jamie Collins has added muscle mass this offseason as he prepares to be a three-down player for the Patriots.

"Collins hardly ever left the field when the first-team defense was deployed during organized team activities and minicamp, a sure sign he is being viewed as a three-down player who should improve upon his late-season surge as a rookie in 2013," adds Howe. "His rapid development was a bright spot on an injury-depleted defense, and now he’s expected to progress even further in a more prominent role." READ MORE>>

Jim Donaldson of the Providence Journal thinks that overall depth is the biggest concern for the Patriots as training camp nears.

"There’s lots to like about the starting linebackers — Jerod Mayo, Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins," writes Donaldson. "But there’s not much behind them. Adding veteran free agent James Anderson, who started all 16 games for the Bears last year, was a plus, but the next names on the depth chart are Steve Beauharnais and Ja’Gared Davis." READ MORE>>

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