Super Bowl notebook
The Super Bowl notebook ..
INDIANAPOLIS — Rob Gronkowski practiced with the New England Patriots for the Super Bowl for the first time Thursday. Now coach Bill Belichick is waiting to see how the All-Pro tight end’s injured ankle responds.
Gronkowski, recovering from a high sprain in his left ankle, participated on a limited basis for the first time since being injured Jan. 22 in the third quarter of the 23-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC championship game.
“He did some things. He didn’t do everything,” Belichick said. “We’ll see how he is (Friday). I think that will be the big key.”
Gronkowski, who set an NFL single-season record for tight ends with 17 touchdown catches, took part during the second half of the nearly two-hour practice for Sunday’s championship game against the New York Giants.
INDIANAPOLIS — No big deal, just a costly mistake.
A day after being fined $20,000 by the NFL for missing a mandatory media session at the Super Bowl, Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora apologized for his mistake and said he understands why he was docked so much money.
“If it was like a $1,000 fine or something like that, most of the people they will laugh at it,” Umenyiora said when he showed up for Thursday’s media session. “They wouldn’t even come downstairs and talk, but you make the fine substantial enough it is going to make people want to show up.
“It makes sense because the NFL is a business, you understand. Players are the product, and the fans are the customers. The only way that we can reach them is through you guys, the media, so we have to be responsible and speak to the people.”
INDIANAPOLIS — Running back Ahmad Bradshaw practiced for a second straight day and three other players were allowed to practice without restrictions as the New York Giants completed their second workout in Indiana in preparation for the Super Bowl on Thursday.
Cornerback Corey Webster (hamstring), wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (shoulder) and special-teamer/linebacker Jacquian Williams (foot) all practiced fully, according to a pool report. They were limited Wednesday.
Bradshaw, who has a broken bone in his right foot, and defensive end Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee) were the only Giants who were limited in the 88-minute practice on the University of Indianapolis’ indoor practice field.
The report also said Eli Manning was sharp during passing drills.
Bradshaw, who hasn’t practiced on consecutive days since returning from his foot injury in early December, tripped going through the line on a running play early in the session. But he hopped up and was able to continue.
“It looked like he tripped over the fullback’s foot,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “But he’s fine.”
Coughlin said the team’s energy level, enthusiasm and excitement are obvious.
“They’re really excited to practice for the game,” Coughlin said. “I think they’ve done very well. This was a good day of preparation.”
Manning was sharp in the final two first-unit offensive possessions. He completed 10 of 11 throws in a two-minute drill held against the Giants’ first-team defense, moving the offense briskly downfield.
The play of the day came from Nicks early in the practice. He made a twisting, one-handed catch of a line drive from Manning on the left sideline, corralling the ball easily and turning upfield.
Coughlin said the Giants will not switch hotels Saturday night to a more secluded venue, which some teams often do to get away from the Super Bowl eve clamor. The Giants didn’t do it in their last Super Bowl under Coughlin four years ago either.
The Giants will practice at the university’s facility Friday, concentrating on short yardage, red zone and goal-line work. They will have a short walkthrough workout Saturday in their final prep work for Sunday’s game.
The Associated Press