FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick showed pictures of tight end Rob Gronkowski with a kitten, from ESPN The Magazine's "Interview issue" that hits newsstands Friday, to the entire team Thursday morning in what was described by players as a lighthearted moment.
"Bill brought it up this morning in team meeting, and we had a couple chuckles about it," cornerback Darrelle Revis relayed. "It was pretty funny this morning. I guess Gronk has a soft side to his personality."
Added receiver Brandon LaFell: "It was pure laughter in there this morning."
— ESPN The Magazine (@ESPNMag) December 11, 2014
For his part, Gronkowski deflected any talk about the photos during a media interview Thursday afternoon, saying his focus was solely on the team's next game, at home Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
Gronkowski's answer might have been tied to something else Belichick said Thursday morning in the team meeting.
"Coach was talking about how to approach the media and things to say, and things not to say, and he held up the picture of Rob and everybody just started laughing," LaFell said. "There's always something about Rob.
"... He's a great guy; he's an animal, man. Whatever he does off the field, as long as it's nothing distracting to the team, I'm all for it. As long as he brings everything he's got every Sunday, I'm with him."
From the sound of it, Belichick didn't spend too much time focusing on the unique pictures.
"Bill does a great job of trying to soften the mood sometimes. He did this morning, guys had a little chuckle about it, and then we moved on," Revis said.