BOSTON (CBS) — After taking the offseason to mull his future, Rob Gronkowski was back on the field for the New England Patriots on Tuesday.

He looked like his usual self on the field and sounded like a kid at a birthday party off of it, so it doesn’t seem like his decision to skip out on OTAs will have a negative effect on the upcoming season.

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Like quarterback Tom Brady, Gronkowski skipped out on previous voluntary sessions at Gillette Stadium. He said he did so to make sure his body and mind were in the right place, and he was ready to tackle the upcoming season. He did admit that he was considering retiring after the Super Bowl, but in the end, Gronkowski was back out there doing Gronk things as the Patriots kicked off their minicamp.

“I just wanted to see where I was at. I was having different thoughts, so I needed to see where my body was at and if I wanted to go through it again — if I could go through it again,” he explained. “I’m going to do what is best for myself and take care of myself. Because if I can’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of anyone else or help out the team.

“I’m glad to be back out here, and I feel like I definitely made the right decision to come back out,” he added.

Told he had a little extra pep in his step during Tuesday’s practice, Gronk thanked the reporter and gave the boyish grin that fans are used to seeing when he scores one of his many touchdowns every season.

“It was great. I feel good,” Gronkowski said of Tuesday’s practice. “A lot of excitement, obviously. I had some jitters, too. The first time when it’s been a while, sometimes you get the jitters going out there.”

It didn’t take long for those jitters to go away, and Gronk sounded like a kid in a candy shop when the day was over.

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“I enjoyed it a lot today. The game of football is fun when you’re feeling good. When you’re not feeling good, you really don’t like the game of football,” he said. “If your body feels good, your mind feels good, your joy of playing football is off the charts. At the same time, if you’re not feeling good, it can be awful. I just want to be feeling good, keep my mind clear and keep on playing the game and enjoy it.”

Gronkowski wants to work out a contract extension with the Patriots, and would obviously like that to get done before the season. But it won’t take away from his focus ahead of the season, which is to get better every day in practice.

Though, he admitted there may be one distraction come this weekend. The horse “Gronkowski”, whom the football player Gronkowski owns a stake in, is set to run in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. Though the horse is being given 25-1 odds, human Gronk isn’t losing hope for a victory, keeping Justify from winning the Triple Crown.

“Pretty cool scenario and situation. Just shows if you give the horse my name, it’s gonna make it baby,” Gronkowski said with that smirk again.

As for getting a ride on the colt, the tight end is probably a little too big. But a guy can dream, right?

“Hopefully [I get a ride]. I like taking things for a ride,” he said, drawing laughter from reporters.

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From the looks of what he did on the field Tuesday, Gronkowski is feeling good physically. And judging from his sense of humor, he’s feeling pretty good mentally too.