Gronk readies for home opener

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots will take the field at Gillette Stadium on Sunday for the time during the 2012 regular season, and tight end Rob Gronkowski says he's fired up for the home opener.

"I’m excited right now. I’ve been excited all week. Always excited," he said of playing in front of the home crowd. "It only gets closer to game day every single day. Just excited to get out there, especially that it’s our home opener, it’s always great to see our fans all fired up when we’re running out [of] the bubble helmet. It’s going to be a blast."

The confines of Gillette Stadium have been kind to Gronkowski during his first two seasons, as the Patriots have amassed a 15-1 regular season record since 2010. But Gronkowski knows that the Cardinals will present a unique challenge on Sunday, and one that is predicated upon collective speed and size on defense.

"Their safeties, their corners, they all have speed. And they don’t just have to speed, they have size on them too in the secondary," he said. "Same with their defensive line, they’ve got some size on them and they’re really athletic. You’ve got be ready for their speed, you’ve got to be ready for all their stunts and you’ve got to be able to pick them up."