FOXBORO, Mass. — If Bill Belichick was perturbed by Tom Brady’s and Rob Gronkowski’s absences from New England Patriots organized team activities, he wasn’t about to say so.
The Patriots coach declined to answer questions about Brady and Gronkowski on Tuesday after the quarterback and tight end skipped OTAs — which are voluntary for players — for the second straight day.
“Yeah, I am not going to talk about the people who aren’t here,” Belichick said in response to a question about Brady. “The guys that are here are improving. They are working hard and those are the guys who we are going to focus on.”
When asked about the conversation he had with Gronkowski before the All-Pro announced he would play in 2018, Belichick replied: “Like I said, I’m focused on the guys that are here, the guys that we’re working with in this OTAs process, Phase 3 (of the offseason program). Those are the guys I’m concentrated on, and that’s what we’re focused on.”
Brian Hoyer and rookie Danny Etling will handle quarterbacking duties until Brady returns. Gronkowski’s absence puts a spotlight on the wide-open battle for the Patriots’ second and third tight end spots.
Thumbnail photo via Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports Images