FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- After spending much of his down time during the bye week hanging out, working out, and playing video games, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is ready to take on a familiar foe in Week 10: his hometown Buffalo Bills.
"It's always cool, this is like my sixth time playing them since I've been in the NFL," he told reporters on Wednesday. "It's cool to play where you grew up from, and it's always another game in the NFL, it's always a big game. They're all big."
Before Sunday arrives, the Patriots will have a week's worth of practice time to prepare for Buffalo. And while it was clear in speaking to players that the bye week was a nice reprieve to rest and recharge, Gronkowski said his team is enthused about the return to work.
"Everyone's always energized to get back on the field, getting back to practice, getting back to work," he said. "It's always a good feeling."
The last time the Patriots took the field, the offense was arguably at its peak, scoring 45 points and easily marching down the field against the St. Louis Rams. Gronkowski talked about the offense's execution, and the starting point for it all: practice.
"We just go out and try to execute every single play, every single week, every single game, and it all starts off in practice," he continued. "Working together as a team, working together as an offense, trying to get everything down. And every single week we want to go out there during game time and execute the plays that we practiced during the week. And whatever the coaches call, we've got to go out there and perform to the best of our abilities."
The last time the Patriots played the Bills, the offense rattled off six consecutive scoring drives, two of which were capped off by Gronkowski touchdown catches. Despite the strong performance, the 23-year old tight end wasn't revisiting that game, instead keeping his focus on the task at hand.
"That game was like five weeks ago," he added. "(I'm) just looking forward to this Sunday versus them."