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Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Gronk steady amid receiver shuffle

By Mike Rodak

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- With Aaron Hernandez injured, Deion Branch back in the mix, Kellen Winslow arriving in New England, and Greg Salas waived, there is plenty of change at the receiver and tight end positions for the Patriots. Tight end Rob Gronkowski is one of the constants.

Asked on Wednesday if he sees his role in the offense changing after this week's personnel moves, Gronkowski towed the line one would expect.

"Not really," he said. "Whatever coaches want me to do, wherever the coaches put me, I'm going to do. If they want me to play a little bit somewhere else, that's fine with me. If they want me to do what exactly I'm doing right now, that's fine with me too."

Gronkowski said he watched Winslow play while he was in high school and college, calling him a "great player."

"The coaches brought him in. That was all their decision. Any teammate is a teammate of mine, and I'm glad to have him," Gronkowski said.

Another big story surrounding the team's pass-catchers is a drop in playing time for Wes Welker, who played a reserve role to Julian Edelman to start last Sunday's game.

"You just can't worry about it," Gronkowski said of the chatter surrounding Welker. We just come in every day and we just have to do our own job. ... That's all you have to focus on, and just block everything else out."

Gronkowski's focus this week will be preparing for a Sunday Night Football clash with the Baltimore Ravens.

"It's kind of like our rival. I've played them every year since I've been here. They're a great defense, and they're a great opponent," Gronkowski said. "Prime time, it's the spotlight, you're ready to go. It's going to be fun. It's going to be a fun atmosphere. It's going to be a good time."