Quick hits from Patriots locker room
October, 3, 2011
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
Chris Forsberg/ESPN BostonIt's throwback week and Pat the Patriot hangs in the locker room.FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Quick hits from the Patriots' locker room following Monday afternoon's media-access period at Gillette Stadium:
1. With the Patriots set to wear their red 80's throwback jerseys for Sunday's game against the Jets, Pat the Patriot was back on every helmet hanging in the room.
2. Players drawing large media crowds included running backs Stevan Ridley and BenJarvus-Green Ellis; tight end Rob Gronkowski; and linebacker Dane Fletcher.
3. After Patriots coach Bill Belichick talked at length about how Fletcher worked his way into the role of short-yardage fullback, the second-year linebacker admitted he didn't think twice about accepting the duties. Quipped Fletcher, "If they tell me to run my face into some people, yeah, I'll do it."
4. It's been a whirlwind season so far for offensive lineman Thomas Welch, who has been called up from the practice squad for two of New England's four games this season. That included a big role as a second tight end in Sunday's win over the Raiders. Welch admitted he hadn't played tight end since his freshman year of college, but thought it went well. "Mostly I was just blocking, so it’s pretty similar to O-line," said Welch, typically a tackle. "But going in motion, I had to remember how to do that a little bit. I had to dig into the memory bank little bit."
5. The locker of safety Ross Ventrone, waived Saturday to make room on the active roster for Welch, remains intact. That said, linebacker A.J. Edds still has his stall intact and he was signed to the Colts' 53-man roster last week. The Patriots have Welch's practice squad spot to fill this week.
6. For what it's worth, Danny Woodhead, injured late in the first half of Sunday's win in Oakland, did not enter the locker room when the running backs emerged from their positional meeting. Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth and tight end Aaron Hernandez both visited their lockers, but neither took questions.