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News Blitz 8/13: Gronkowski is 50-50 for week one

Posted Aug 13, 2014

In this edition of the Patriots.com news blitz we check up on all the news from the Patriots and Eagles joint-practices and take a look at a report on Rob Gronkowski.

Ben Volin of the Boston Globe says that the Patriots and Eagles joint-practices have a championship feel. Volin was impressed with both teams during practice and believes that they could wind up facing each other in the Super Bowl this season.

"The practice was crisp, professional, and efficient. Each team got in a ton of reps for their starters on both sides of the ball. There was no walking between stations, only jogging," explains Volin. "Tom Brady and Nick Foles were maestros, matching each other with three touchdown passes and no interceptions."

Volin further explained his observations last night when he joined Michael Felger and Bob Neumeier on Comcast SportsNet's "Sports Tonight". Though Neumeier agreed with Volin's assessment that the Patriots are a championship-caliber team, he's not sold on the Eagles.

"The Patriots I get, but the Eagles? Not so sure," said Neumeier. "They are the class of the NFC East, why? Because they're like the Patriots in their division. The Cowboys stink, the Giants stink, and the Redskins, eh."

One of the bigger storylines entering this week involved Eagles CB Cary Williams and his comments about the Patriots, calling them "cheaters". Dan Shaughnessy joined Chris Gasper and Gary Tanguay on CSN's "Early Edition" to discuss whether the Patriots still deserve criticism in that regard.

"There are so many people who are envious of the team because of their success, or just don't like Belichick," said Gasper on the show. "This is the easiest thing to lob at the Patriots. What else can you really lob at them because they're so successful."

Yesterday, the Patriots made two trades involving the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys. ESPN's Rob Demovsky recapped the trade with the Packers, which sent DE Jerel Worthy to New England for a future draft pick. As for the Cowboys trade, NBC Sports' Mike Wilkening explained that the Patriots sent CB Justin Green to Dallas in exchange for DT Ben Bass.

Mike Reiss believes that these two trades show that Bill Belichick is trying to avoid a repeat of 2013 when the Patriots interior defensive line was ravaged with injuries.

"By the fifth week of last season, the Patriots had lost the top three defensive tackles on their depth chart," said Reiss in his article on ESPN Boston. "It's almost as if Belichick is saying, 'We made it work last year against long odds, but let's cover ourselves a little bit better this time around just in case.'"

According to Mike Florio of NBC's Pro Football Talk, Rob Gronkowski is far from a sure thing to play in the Patriots week one match-up against the Miami Dolphins. Florio says that there is a 50-50 chance that Gronk will be available for the game but that he's definitely going to be careful when deciding to make his return.


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