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Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Game trumps homecoming for Gronkowskis

By Steven Krasner

AP Photo/Don HeupelPatriots tight end Rob Gronkowski celebrates a touchdown last season in Buffalo.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots’ game in Buffalo on Sunday will be a homecoming for the Gronkowski brothers, a pair of tight ends on the New England roster.

But the Gronkowskis, who grew up in the Buffalo suburb of Williamsville, N.Y., insisted Wednesday that a family reunion isn’t their major concern.

“Going home is exciting, but we’re not thinking that this is anything but all business,” said Dan Gronkowski, the elder brother.

“For Rob and I, we’re not thinking about going home to Buffalo but about playing them. We have to stay focused on the game,” said Dan, who grew up a Bills fan in general and a fan in particular of Buffalo quarterback Jim Kelly.

And if family members or friends want tickets, Rob volunteered his brother for that distraction.

“I’ll tell them to talk to Dan,” said Rob. “I’m not worried about that. I’m just worried about winning the game.”

Rob Gronkowski has been one of the focal points of the Pats’ offense, having grabbed 10 passes for 172 yards, including a team-leading three touchdowns. Dan, who signed with the Pats as a free agent after being cut by Denver, has yet to catch a pass for New England, but he may have more opportunities to do so this week because tight end Aaron Hernandez (knee) is expected to be out.