FOXBORO (CBS) – Patriots quarterback Tom Brady raved about tight end Rob Gronkowski, praised the Philadelphia Eagles and talked about unique circumstances surrounding the Super Bowl during his final press conference before the team leaves for Minneapolis.

Gronkowski returned to practice on Saturday, though he remains in concussion protocol after receiving a hit to the head in the AFC Championship Game.

“It’s always great having him out there. Great player, great person, great teammate,” Brady raved.

“He’s got a great personality and a great way about him. He definitely has a joyfulness to him and brings that to the team. It’s a great attribute of his and has been since he got here.”

Brady was also asked about his recently released first episode of “Tom vs. Time.” The quarterback, however, wasn’t interested in talking about the Facebook documentary series.

“We’ll stick to football,” Brady said.

Philadelphia Eagles players and fans have been wearing dog masks during the playoffs, embracing what they view as an underdog mentality.

“I don’t think about masks they wear or anything like that. I just try to focus on what we need to do,” Brady said. “It’s a good team we’re playing. They’re a great team. They played well all season. They’ve been the best team, the No. 1 team in the NFC. I think that speaks to how well they’ve played all year.”

Brady praised Bill Belichick’s efforts getting his teams ready for each Super Bowl. Though Brady is set to play in his eighth Super Bowl, he said he still gets the same emotions as younger teammates playing in their first.

“You realize how much effort you have to put in to prepare. It’s a unique environment, unique game,” said Brady.

“I’m glad we’re still playing. More importantly than anything, to be working this week is pretty special for all of us. It’s a great environment we’re about to go in to. You’re right, we’re right at the finish line I think. There’s one game to play. There’s a finality to this game and we’ve got to hopefully play our best possible game. That’s what it’s going to take.”

The Patriots leave for Minnesota on Monday, holding a send off rally at 9 a.m. before leaving for the airport.


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