Darrelle Revis and Rob Gronkowski—two of the best at their positions in the NFL—are both recovering from ACL tears, just at different spots in the process. Each has received huge ovations at training camp and haven't disappointed on the field.
Lee Schechter of ESPN.com had Gronkowski's reaction to the start of camp:
"For the last six months, I worked my butt off to be here," Gronkowski said. "Cutting on it, making it stronger, I'm here and I'm ready.
"Running routes, being in the huddle, catching balls from Tom Brady, it's a dream come true again. Feels like it got taken away, and I feel like I got it back."
And now that he's back, the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Gronkowski has no plans to change the way he plays.
"I'm going to go full speed, and I'm going to keep smashing and dashing everything I do," he said.
A "smashing and dashing" Gronkowski is just what Brady ordered.
Revis has been smashing and dashing already during practice, picking Brady off multiple times. He is in a different spot physically than where he was in Tampa Bay last year. Mike Reiss from ESPN.com had comments from Revis on his health:
I finished all 16 games last year but I still wasn’t where I wanted to be physically as a player. This is my first offseason where I could really focus on working out. They say it takes a year and a half, or two [to get back to full strength]. I think I’m at a point now, I’m there.
I’m back to where I can move around a little better. Last year was really tough coming off the injury, I wasn’t where I needed to be. Now I’m a little bit more excited, I feel the butterflies a little bit more, and I’m just ready to play and get ready for the season.
Over a month remains before Gronkowski or Revis will see any meaningful snaps for New England, but they've left every Patriots coach with a smile on their face so far with their progress and play.