- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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The New England Patriots' offense is in major transition this offseason. Not only did the team completely make over its receiver position after losing Pro Bowler Wes Welker and starter Brandon Lloyd, but the Patriots have more offseason injury concerns with tight end Rob Gronkowski.
That is why the one constant -- Aaron Hernandez -- is focusing on his durability this offseason. Hernandez told the Boston Herald that he is training in Los Angeles to play all 16 games this upcoming season.
"Just been training, trying to get my body right, get my strength up so I can have a decent season next year,” Hernandez told the Boston Herald. “I’d say more attention to specific muscles instead of just doing the basic bench, squat and all that other stuff. I’d say I started a little earlier this year to maybe try to get through 16 games this season. It’s away from everything else -- away from my family, my friends, gives me time to focus on football, focus on my main priorities in life."
Hernandez had a relatively down year in 2012. He had 51 receptions for 483 yards and five touchdowns. He played in just 10 games because of a major ankle injury, and was not as explosive late in the season.
Hernandez knows he's never played a full 16-game season in his three-year career. Considering all the changes at receiver and Gronkowski’s arm injury, now would be an ideal time for Hernandez to prove he can be durable and step up as a reliable offensive leader in 2013.