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Rob Gronkowski: Low hits are part of the game

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New England Patriots Jerseys fans hold their breath every time a defender tackles Rob Gronkowski Jerseys low.

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Given the heart palpitations caused by such collisions, Pats fans got worked up this week when Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jerseys Jr. described hitting Gronk low, at the knees, as the best way to take down the 6-foot-6, 265-pound tight end.

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Gronk issued a playful retort earlier in the week, but Thursday brushed aside any notion that he’s worried about the Broncos targeting his knees.

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“It’s part of the game. I’ve been seeing it all year,” Gronkowski said of low hits, via the team’s official website. “I’ve been seeing it my whole career. I’ve just got to get low, get my shoulder down, protect the ball, just protect myself in any way when I see a lot of guys coming or when I know there’s not a chance to make that many yards, possibly just go down on that play, but if you can make a play then try and make a play, get more yards, but at the same time I’ve just got to watch it wholesale jerseys, get your pads down. It’s football, so you’ve got to be ready for contact at all times.”

In the Pats’ Week 12 loss to the Broncos, Gronkowski exited in the fourth quarter with a knee injury after his leg whipped back on a low hit by a defender. The injury caused him to miss the cheap nfl jerseys following contest and influenced his play down the stretch. Gronk was officially listed as limited in Thursday’s practice with knee/back injuries.

With the NFL placing emphasis on defenders not hitting at the head/neck level, many players, especially smaller defensive backs, have gone low to attempt to bring down behemoths — that’s not to cheap jersey boy tickets suggest taking out the knees is a new philosophy, it’s as old as football.

Gronk added that he plans on dishing out as much punishment as he receives.

“Everyone wants to see collisions, so I’m ready to give some,” he said.

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Tailgating a highlight for Classic fans at Gillette

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Fans of the Montreal Canadiens Jerseys and Boston Bruins Jerseys were out in full force hours before the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, firing up their grills and tossing the football to create a party atmosphere in the Gillette Stadium parking lot.


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Inside and out, the home of the NFL’s New England Patriots Jerseys was taken over by hockey fans and their passion for the game. Though the majority of fans were from the Boston area, many Canadiens fans made the trip from Montreal to revel in the excitement and take some lighthearted ribbing from the Boston faithful.

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“Bruins fans have been great,” said George Tsopeis of Montreal, who left home at 4 a.m. to make it to the game. “Some friendly jabs and some good lucks. It was really nice. It’s my first time experiencing this. For a Montrealer to watch a Bruins game in this venue, it’s beyond description.”

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Sebastian Cote of Montreal, J.D. Beaudoin (a native of Drummondville, Quebec now living in New Haven, Conn.) and Hubert Prodencher of Saint-Ferdinand, Quebec were tailgating since 9:30 a.m. while their wives were shopping. Though they’ve been to their share of games at Bell Centre, the outdoor experience brought back childhood memories.

“It’s our first time in a stadium like that and it’s amazing,” Cote said. “Just the cheap world cup jerseys size of the stadium right now is quite amazing. And to be outside, to have the feeling that it’s old-school going back when we were kids playing at the ice rink or our neighborhood … and tailgating in Canada is not that big, so it’s pretty nice to be able to experience that with hockey.”

Lou Charello of North Providence, R.I., was among a group of 20 in Lot 22 enjoying sizzling steaks, burgers, smoked sausage, cold beer and homemade blonde brownies. Charello was a Patriots season ticket holder before trading them for Bruins tickets. Even when he was at Gillette Stadium for football, he could tell how much the Bruins mean to the region.

“Even when you come here for an early-season Patriots game, you see a lot of Bruins jerseys in the parking lot,” Charello said. “They’re football fans, but they’re Bruins fans.

“This is the first time I’ve tailgated for hockey and it’s about the same [as football], the same enthusiasm.”

Elsewhere, 7-year-old Cormac Cunningham was playing hockey with friends and about to see his first NHL game. Cormac said his favorite players are Bruins forwards Patrice Bergeron Jerseys and Seth Griffth, who signed a stick Cormac received for Christmas.

Living in Cumberland, R.I., a 15-minute drive to Foxborough wholesale jerseys, Cormac’s father, Mark, grew up a fan of the Hartford Whalers Jerseys and played hockey through high school before going to college on a golf scholarship. He coaches hockey at Bishop Feehan High School in Attelboro, Mass., and youth hockey with Bruce Berard, the brother of retired NHL player Bryan Berard.

“I’ve played all my life and my son plays, and just to share this experience with him …,” Cunningham said. “For me, wearing a Bruins hat is almost like wearing a Yankees hat. You can never take hockey out of my blood. It’s always a part of me.”

While the sounds of live music pulsated from cheap world cup jerseys nearby Spectator Plaza, which hosted 90,000 square feet of interactive hockey-themed attractions, three Bruins fans were polishing off their drinks before heading into the stadium and weren’t shy about expressing their pride for their team and their city.

“The hockey vibe in this town in unprecedented,” said Ian Baker of Dorchester, Mass. “There are no better fans in the country.”

The passion was obvious during pregame.

“Beers, tailgating, the fun times are flowing,” said Joe Kane of West Roxbury, Mass.

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Patriots excited as Winter Classic preparations begin

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Hardcore fans of the New England Patriots Jerseys, celebrating their team’s 12th win of the season, remained scattered across the parking lots of Gillette Stadium on a brisk, but by no means frigid, Sunday night in New England while work crews from the National cheapjerseys us com Hockey League took control of the building to begin the transformation toward the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.


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While the post-game tailgate festivities ended, when the snarled traffic along adjoining Route 1 abated, NHL employees worked throughout the night, putting down flooring and performing other set-up tasks to prepare the stadium for a rink-building process that will begin in earnest Monday in preparation of the Winter Classic between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens here on Jan. 1 (1 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

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The Bruins and Canadiens will have practices at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 31 before an alumni game between players from each organization will take place at 3:30 p.m. (NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).

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For some of the Patriots, the transformation, which began soon after they finished streaming out of the stadium after a 33-16 victory against the Tennessee Titans, was an exciting beginning to a process they will observe at arm’s length for the better part of the next two weeks.

“It’s going to be awesome, a great atmosphere [for the Winter Classic],” said Jimmy Garappolo, the backup quarterback to starter Tom Brady Jerseys. Garappolo, a Chicago Blackhawks fan while growing up outside of the Windy City, admits he is “turning over to the Bruins” since arriving with the Patriots this summer and is looking forward to seeing the rink take shape.

The defending Super Bowl champion Patriots finished their home schedule Sunday, going 7-1 at Gillette Stadium for the season. They finish the regular season with away games against the New York Jets (Dec. 7) and the Miami Dolphins Jerseys (Jan. 3) before they start the NFL postseason after the first-round bye they earned with a victory Sunday and a loss by the Denver Broncos later in the afternoon. They will play a second-round game during the weekend of Jan. 16-17.

The Patriots won’t play at Gillette Stadium for almost a month at the earliest, but they will be around, using the practice facilities adjacent to the stadium. They will have a first-hand view of the rink-build process, which will be supervised by Dan Craig, the NHL’s Senior Director of Facilities Operations.

Garappolo says he is excited to see the rink take shape while the Patriots spend the next two weeks preparing for the rest of the regular season.

Growing up in Arlington Heights, Ill., Garappolo followed the Blackhawks pretty closely. He says Jonathan Toews Jerseys is his favorite player and he loves the character of the recent Blackhawks teams. He says he played hockey for one year when he was younger, as a defenseman. To hear him tell it, he was not very good and he quickly turned his attention to football.

Alan Branch, a defensive lineman with the Patriots, says he grew up playing a bit of roller hockey as a kid before embracing football full-time. He played football at the University of Michigan, where he says he saw “a lot of good hockey.” He missed the “Cold War II” outdoor game at The Big House between the Wolverines and Michigan State and was already in the NFL when the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs visited the Michigan football stadium for the 2014 Winter Classic.

“That is really exciting, pretty cool,” Branch said when told about the impending Winter Classic. “Outdoor hockey is old-school. I didn’t grow up being a hockey fan, but merged into one as an adult. It should be an awesome game.”

Right guard Josh Kline Jerseys, another Chicago-area kid, has been with the Patriots since 2013. One thing he has learned in his three years with New England is that the sports fans here know how to split their loyalties to embrace all of the area teams.

“It’s going to be a great experience,” said Kline, who says he follows the cheapjerseys us com NHL when his schedule allows. “Obviously they love the Bruins around here, so it should be a real good experience.”

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NFL considering changes to scouting combine

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Many, like New England Patriots Jerseys coach Bill Belichick, bemoan incoming rookies training for specific drills performed at the NFL Scouting Combine — like the 40-yard-dash. Could those days be coming to an end?
Participants | Top performers | Workouts
Combine coverage:
Candidates to top Johnson’s 40 mark
Decade’s best combine performances
7 prospects with character concerns
5 questions to be answered at combine
11 potential combine workout freaks
Notable prospects not invited to combine
2016 combine schedule of events
Mind-blowing stats for 2016 combine
NFL players not invited to combine
Combine through the years


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Tom Pelissero of USA TODAY repots that National Football Scouting Inc., which runs the combine, is establishing a committee of NFL executives, scouts, coaches, athletic trainers, team physicians, among others, to jerseys for cheap review all phases of the annual event.

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“Our first focus is to look at what we do currently and making sure that that’s relevant,” company president Jeff Foster told USA TODAY Sports. “And if it is, great, we’ll continue to do it, because historical comparison is really important to the evaluation process. But if we believe that there’s something that’s not relevant, then what can we replace it with that will help us evaluate the players?”

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Tinkering with the combine is something that has been considered more earnestly in recent years.

The 2016 NFL Scouting Combine kicks off this week in Indianapolis. Players will participate in the 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, 3 cone drill and shuttle run.

Routinely criticized as “Underwear Olympics,” teams often find more use in the medical examinations and interviews conducted during the Combine than some of the on-field drills.

“We’re continuing to explore everything in an effort to improve,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Pelissero. “So, if there are ways to tweak, improve, modify anything we do, we’ll explore that (and that includes) the combine. The mantra is, how can we get better?”

As data becomes more accessible and easier for teams, agents and players to parse, the tenor of the combine could adjust, making workouts more useful and informative.

“You can get in on a really granular level and analyze these systems — even overlays of some of the stuff they do,” Dr. Marcus Elliott said. “They measure vertical jump, but there’s a lot of ways for two guys to both jump 38 inches. There’s potential for this thing to get so much smarter.”