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Patriots notebook: Is Gronkowski's ankle good to go? Don't ask Gronk

by | CBSSports.com
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INDIANAPOLIS -- The Patriots' Rob Gronkowski owns the most famous ankle in Indianapolis. Toss in New York and Boston, as well. That much was apparent as the waves of media meandering through Lucas Oil Stadium consistently blanketed podium No. 1. From the first minute to the last, writers, television personalities, pundits, child reporters, vikings, superheroes and 1930s football players poked and prodded for information.

The surreal scene fit more for Oct. 31 than Jan. 31 was continuously met with a very real answer.

"We are taking it day-by-day," Gronkowski said -- over and over and over again.

The Bill Belichick-preferred phrase in regards to discussing the injury came through the speakers loud and clear on Tuesday. The tight end enjoying the greatest statistical season in the history of his position didn't shy away from the topic, but at the end of the day, there was no getting around the fact he doesn't know what to expect physically once Sunday arrives.

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"That's the goal -- get out there, be effective and help out the team," he said. "But, that's in like six more days, you never know. It could be 100 percent by then or it could be two percent by then.

"I do whatever the trainers tell me. I wake up every day praying it's better."

The Giants, meanwhile, aren't praying, they're conceding. In their mind, Gronkowski will play. They have little doubt about it.

"Our whole mindset is that he is going to be 100 percent by game time, especially given a game of this magnitude," LB Michael Boley said.

No backing down

Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham stated last week he plans to expose Patriots WR/DB Julian Edelman if they line up across from each other Sunday. When given the opportunity to back off of the comments, which built a heavy amount of Internet steam, he planned on doing nothing of the sort. Yes, he respects Edelman as a player, he made that abundantly clear. However, his argument goes back to one singular train of thought.

"He plays wide receiver," Manningham said. "He's not a real DB. Did he get drafted as a defensive back? That's what I am saying. I hope he's out there."

In true competitor fashion, Edelman wasn't backing down, either. Though, that doesn't mean he's listening.

"I am not really worried about what Mario Manningham is saying right now," Edelman said. "I am more focused on doing my job. We will see if that opportunity comes ahead of us in the game."

Kraft reflective

Robert Kraft needed little prodding. There was no need to make comparisons, there are none. This edition of the New England Patriots will be forever remembered in his heart and soul.

The death of his wife, Myra, began what Kraft called the hardest part of his life. The devotion of a team that dedicated the season to him and has now advanced to the Super Bowl began the healing process.

"She was the greatest person in my life," Kraft said. "She was my best pal. It's hard for anyone to understand the heartache unless they've gone through it themselves. The fact that I'm privileged to own an NFL team in my hometown -- these 53 guys have been my savior."

Ridley active?

Rookie running back Stevan Ridley learned about the decision-making process of Bill Belichick the hard way. He was benched for the AFC Championship Game after fumbling each of the previous two games.

He told CSNNE.com on Tuesday he doesn't anticipate spending the Super Bowl inactive again.

"This game I'm going to be dressed and out on the field," Ridley said. "So, hopefully I'll get some carries."

Ridley rushed 87 times for 441 yards and a touchdown during the regular season.

Underwood sports fresh cut

WR Tiquan Underwood drew more media attention than probably any player in Super Bowl history with only three receptions on the season.

Underwood sported his skyscraper-like high-top fade haircut with a fresh Patriots logo shaved into the back of his head.

In the final minutes, Underwood even paid respect to the Kid 'n Play history of his haircut and began performing the famous Kid 'n Play dance with a female reporter.

Circus Circus

The standard cast of characters and costumes were out at media day. One of the oddest was a radio reporter dressed up like a viking.

Once he got a hold of James Ihedigbo, however, the Patriots' Nigerian safety happily played along.

Asked to grab the stone attached to one of the viking's necklaces, feel the "dragon power and fly with me," Ihedigbo grabbed it willingly and began shouting.

"I'm flying with you!" Ihedigbo said. "I'm flying with you! Beast mode! Beast mode!"

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