Soundbites from Patriots players

January, 5, 2012
1/05/12
7:30
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Soundbites from Patriots players during the media-access period at Gillette Stadium (4-5 p.m. ET):

1. Chung's injured foot responds well. Safety Patrick Chung reported that his injured foot responded well to playing every defensive snap in his return to the lineup in the season finale. "Oh, yeah I was fine, I was fine after the game," he said. "You know, we got these couple days to get rid of those little aches and pains and now it’s just ‘go’ time. So, it’s just good to have that bye week."

2. Branch -- plenty of work inside the 20. In the playoffs, the difference between a field goal and touchdown could be what ends a team's season or extends it. So it's no surprise that the Patriots spent parts of the last two days working in the red zone. "Running the ball, red area, situational football. That’s the stuff that we’re working on; I think that’s what’s most important for us," Branch said.

3. Chung's playoff advice to young players. Safety Patrick Chung has been part of two playoff games. As for the advice he'd give to younger players, he said he'd pass along what Tedy Bruschi, Jerod Mayo and Junior Seau told him. "Prepare for the game like it’s a regular game you’re trying to win," he said. "You can’t get too hyped about it because if you get too hyped you might get too antsy and then you never know what might happen, but if you have the same preparation that you do week-in-and-week-out and just take it as a game that we have to win just like every other week then that’s the best advice I can give them. Just relax and let the game come to you."

4. Ihedigbo on approach to bye week. Safety James Ihedigbo detailed how he views the team's approach to the bye -- this week is about staying mentally sharp and managing health, while next week will shift into a higher gear from a game-planning perspective. "The bye week is great, we earned it. The first thing you want to do is rest up and do whatever extra stuff you need to do to get your body right and mentally focused. When we find out who we’re playing, study that much more and spend that extra time," he said.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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