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Still in boot, Gronk is upbeat

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is still in a walking boot after undergoing surgery on his left ankle.

Some soundbites from Gronkowski during his appearance at Dunkin' Donuts after it was announced he has signed a two-year contract as a pitchman for the company:

His recovery and offseason: "I've been chilling. Obviously I had that surgery, and I'm just getting better day by day and week by week. I feel way better than last week. I'm just walking around now, taking it easy, and hopefully I'm 100 percent when it comes down to that time so I can get to where I want to be this offseason."

More on the ankle: "It's great. I'm like 6 1/2 weeks [after] surgery. I'm walking around now. Everything is on pace."

When the boot might come off: "I don't know yet. That's all in a couple more weeks."

His plans for the coming weeks and months: "We start back up in mid-April. Right now, you're letting your body get a rest. When the offseason program starts, that's when you start hitting it hard all the way up to camp. Right now, I can only do upper body, sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, all that good stuff. I'm just going to have to make up for it with the cardio and leg workouts when I get healthy."

Thoughts on having a yet-to-be-announced tight ends coach: "I'm definitely going to miss coach [Brian] Ferentz. Best wishes to him out in Iowa. I'm definitely going to use his aspects of the game that he taught Aaron [Hernandez] and I. He taught us so many great things, and just definitely apply it to what the coaches have for us this year."

On tight end Daniel Fells and other free agents joining the team: "I'm just excited to meet everyone new and excited to work with everyone new. [Fullback] Spencer Larsen, who we brought in, he was on my team at Arizona. I know him, so I was glad to meet up with him again. He is a hard worker. I was a freshman and he was a senior, so I only played with him one year, but he's a hard worker and has dedication to the game. He loves playing."