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Aaron Hernandez approaches the game differently than Gronk and Graham

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  August 8, 2012 02:20 PM

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Aaron Hernandez may not be a headline grabber like Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham, but he's still considered one of the elite tight ends in the game.

After today's joint practice against the Saints, Hernandez was asked to share his thoughts on the venerable Graham, the New Orleans tight end who sustained a minor back injury during today's session.

"[He's a] good player," Hernandez said "Obviously the whole league knows about him, and that's about it... we're different players, and we do different things and he and Gronk are similar in their playing type and I have a different way I try to approach the defenders and approach the game. But I think we all have different qualities that are very good."

When put on the spot to name the better tight end among the three star performers, Hernandez took a pass.

"We're all good players," he said. "We're all different, we've all got different qualities, but I say, it is what it is."

Hernandez also spoke about the differences between he and Gronkowski:

"I approach it with speed and quickness and he approaches it with just being big and physical," the 22-year-old Hernandez said. "And that basically describes both of us."

The speedy tight end also spoke about no longer having to participate in two-a-day contact practices during camp.

"With all the new rules, I love it," Hernandez said. "It's saving me. Two practices beats up on your body. Bill [Belichick] regardless is going to find a way to beat up on us, regardless, we're going to be tired."

Hernandez, now in his third season in New England, appreciates the opportunity to face another team during camp.

"You get tired of practicing against the same players every day and they start learning your moves," he said. "So it's good to get some work against somebody that doesn't know much."

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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