FOXBORO, Mass. — Some leftover notes and nuggets from Tuesday’s New England Patriots media availability at Gillette Stadium:
— Outspoken Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey made headlines last week when he declared in an ESPN profile that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, a four-time All-Pro and surefire Hall of Famer, is “not as great as people think he is.”
Ramsey also claimed Gronkowski did “absolutely nothing” when the Patriots and Jaguars met in last season’s AFC Championship Game, which Gronkowski played less than two quarters of being sidelined with a concussion.
Asked Tuesday about Ramsey’s boasts, Gronkowski offered the typical Patriots response.
“I mean, we’ve got the Houston Texans this week,” he said. “That will just be another time and place to talk about. But as of right now, I’m just really focused on the Texans. Just worried about their players and their defense. That’s all.”
That other time and place might not be far off, though, as the Patriots are scheduled to visit the Jaguars next Sunday in Week 2 of the NFL season. Gronkowski said he’ll “possibly” address Ramsey’s remarks before that matchup.
“I mean, it’s going to get asked next week,” he said.
Few have been safe from Ramsey’s wrath this summer. The All-Pro cornerback ripped several quarterbacks in an interview with GQ and buried former Patriots receiver Danny Amendola to ESPN’s Mina Kimes, saying Amendola, whose two late touchdown catches in the AFC title game helped end Jacksonville’s season, would be nothing without Tom Brady.
— Defending quarterback Deshaun Watson was the first order of business at Tuesday’s Patriots practice.
Immediately after warmups, the Patriots’ defensive linemen launched into a drill that involved them chasing speedy cornerbacks like Keion Crossen and Jomal Wiltz around the backfield.
Crossen and Wiltz were stand-ins for Watson, whom New England struggled mightily to corral during its 36-33 win over the Texans in Week 3 of last season.
The Patriots pressured Watson 25 times in the teams’ last meeting — which also was just Watson’s second career start — but sacked him just twice.
“Obviously, Deshaun’s a good quarterback,” Crossen said after practice. “He does a great job of scrambling out of the pocket, so whatever we can do to help the situation.”
— The Patriots lost a popular locker room figure Tuesday when running back Brandon Bolden, who’d been released Saturday, signed with the Miami Dolphins.
“It’s definitely strange,” fellow running back James White said. “That’s my guy. He’s been here since I’ve been here, so it’s definitely tough to see him go. But he’s a good friend of mine, so I’ll stay in contact with him. He’s a good guy, even better person, so best of luck for him.”
Bolden spent six seasons with the Patriots after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2012. He was a core special teamer on Super Bowl-winning teams in 2014 and 2016.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images