Quick hits from Patriots locker room

September, 16, 2011
9/16/11
12:15
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Quick hits from the media-access period in the Patriots locker room today:

1. Receiver Chad Ochocinco was present and said he didn't want to comment on things. He pointed to his playbook, making the point that once he gets that down, then he'll be ready to talk. He didn't seem bothered by the media firestorm of the week, expressing understanding that media members, including Tedy Bruschi, have a job to do and that he's often a target.

2. Players drawing larger media crowds included defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, receiver Deion Branch, receiver Wes Welker and offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer. Linebacker Rob Ninkovich was also in the room, taking a few questions on his two-year extension.

3. Wilfork on Chargers QB Philip Rivers: "I always compare him to a defensive player. He's not a typical quarterback. He's so fiery, he'll get up in your face and get his team going, and they rally around him. I always respect that from him. When I see a quarterback going out and having fun like he does, I just smile, because I can see a lot of defensive player in him, with the attitude he has. He's not shy. He'll tell you he's going to eat you up, but he'll also give you credit when credit is due."

4. Some talk about last year's Patriots-Chargers game, and why the Patriots struggled offensively in the game (159 passing yards) while squeaking out a 23-20 win. Branch noted that the Patriots struggled in two key areas -- third down (3 of 12) and in the red zone (2 of 5 TDs) -- and that they'll need to be better this time around to win.

5. Several players said they watched the Bill Belichick film last night on NFL Network. Reviews were positive. Belichick's sense of humor came through in the film when he asked Welker if he knew about Wally Pipp, which came after Julian Edelman returned a punt for a touchdown in a 2009 preseason game in which Welker didn't play. Today, Welker cracked, "Something tells me I'm not falling into the same category."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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