New England Patriots: Leaner, Meaner Gronkowski ready for opening night electricity

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 2: Rob Gronkowski
FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 2: Rob Gronkowski /

The New England Patriots have their star tight end back to begin the 2017 campaign, and he’s leaner, meaner, and ready for the electricity in Gillette.

Rob Gronkowski missed the final 8 games of the season last year for the New England Patriots, but now he’s back and as healthy as ever.

This offseason, Gronk adopted Tom Brady’s TB12 nutritional diet and training regiment. Hopefully, that translates to him staying on the field for the entire NFL season. Either way, Gronkowski is back and will playing in the Patriots season opener on Thursday night.

The top tight end in the NFL, Gronk says he feels leaner, and a little meaner heading into the season.

"“I mean, a lot of people say I’m skinnier,” Gronkowski said. “So I guess I’m leaner. I’ll take it though. I like it. I feel leaner. So yeah, I guess I am. I’ll take it, yeah. Leaner and meaner. I’m just being nice right now.”"

Maybe the TB12 method is the reason it looked like Gronkowski had no lingering effects from last season’s back injury. In the preseason, Gronk looked as strong as ever, and Patriots fans everywhere are hoping he can return to form. Since coming into the league, Rob has been the best tight end on any team, anywhere. When he’s helathy, the Patriots are nearly unstoppable.

Gronkowski entered the league in 2010, and in 88 regular season games he has 405 receptions, 6,095 yards, and 68 touchdowns. He also has a rushing touchdown, bringing his total to 69. Gronk also has 9 touchdowns in 10 playoff games.

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After missing so much time in 2016, Gronkowski is understandably anxious to get back on the field. He’s ready to bring the electricity into Gillette Stadium on Thursday night.

"“I love the electricity and I love being electric. I like that word. But like we said, for the fans it’s going to be a great atmosphere. Everything’s going on, the banner’s dropping, the fireworks — I mean, we just try to block that out. We’ve got a big game and we’ve got the Chiefs and nothing is more important than opening kickoff and being prepared for them.”"

New England Patriots fans around the world, myself included, are hoping for a Gronk Spike or two in week 1.

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Getting Gronkowski involved in the offense once again would be a huge plus for all of New England’s other weapons, as teams won’t have enough skill to shut down Gronk, Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead, and every other Patriots weapon. This is going to be a really fun season for the Patriots offense, and it’ll all begin on Thursday night as they take on the Kansas City Chiefs.