Quick hits from Patriots locker room

September, 5, 2011
9/05/11
12:50
PM ET


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Some quick-hit thoughts from a busy day of media access in the Patriots' locker room (11:15 a.m.-noon):

1. Players drawing large crowds from reporters included OL Brian Waters, DL Vince Wilfork, TE Rob Gronkowski, S Patrick Chung, TE Aaron Hernandez, OL Logan Mankins, S Josh Barrett, LB/DE Rob Ninkovich and RB Danny Woodhead. With so many players available, this had reporters shuffling around the locker room more than the norm over the 45 minutes.

2. Brian Waters will wear Tedy Bruschi's old No. 54 -- with Bruschi's blessing -- although his locker is placed between Logan Mankins (No. 70) and Matt Light (No. 72) as the idea is to keep all the offensive linemen together.

3. Brian Waters said he first heard from the Patriots on Friday, was visiting Saturday, then signed Sunday. "That's how the NFL works," he said of the quick turnaround. When asked about his physical condition, and if he'd be ready to go after not being in a training camp, he smiled. "Ask me that question tomorrow," he said, as he prepared for his first practice with the team.

4. Safety Josh Barrett is listed at 6-foot-2, 225 pounds on the team's roster. He said today in the locker room that he's actually 230 pounds. That's good size for a safety, but as Barrett pointed out, the speed is more important and Barrett feels good in that area, mainly because he finally has a clean bill of health. Barrett's special teams background contributed to him earning a roster spot, as he was a "Big 4" player in Denver under current Patriots special teams coach Scott O'Brien, playing on punt coverage, kickoff coverage, punt return and kickoff return. Barrett has moved to Brandon Meriweather's old locker.

5. DL Vince Wilfork reflected on playing against Brian Waters in the 2004 season, when Wilfork was a rookie. The Patriots won, 27-19, at Arrowhead Stadium. "I'm glad he's on this side," Wilfork said, before recalling how tough Waters and the Chiefs' other guard, Will Shields, were on that day: "Two tough, Hall of Fame-type guards."

6. Starting RCB Leigh Bodden, who has been out since sustaining an undisclosed injury in the second preseason game, walked through the room. We'll see if he's at practice today, as it looks like he's close.

7. Owner Robert Kraft came though, chatting with veteran OL Brian Waters at one point. Kraft looked like he was en route to the weight room for a workout.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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