FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Picked-up pieces from the media-access period in the Patriots’ locker room on Friday (10:55-11:40 a.m.):
Vince Wilfork and Cookie Monster. Call it a fashion statement: Defensive lineman Vince Wilfork donned a black T-Shirt with Cookie Monster on it. According to a league source, Wilfork has had the T-shirt for years.
Welker, Gronkowski & Jones draw big crowds. Receiver Wes Welker, tight end Rob Gronkowski and defensive end Chandler Jones were players drawing larger media gatherings.
McClain keeping a low profile. Free-agent defensive lineman Terrell McClain, the 2011 third-round draft choice of the Panthers who signed with the Patriots on Wednesday, declined interview requests. He said he was instructed by the team not to talk.
Beating man coverage a key. Welker noted that the Bills mix things up coverage-wise and "play a lot of different type of man coverages, and they do a good job with that." Welker and fellow receiver Brandon Lloyd had success beating man coverage Sunday night in Baltimore, so this will be an area to watch once again. "You've got to make sure you're not sloppy with them, and run great routes," Welker opined, later adding that the game has added importance because it's the team's first AFC East contest.
Cleaning up a penalty stat. Approached about being called for two penalties in Sunday's loss to the Ravens, linebacker Niko Koutouvides relayed that one of the penalties -- a block above the waist on special teams -- was against a different player. Turns out the replacement official mis-identified Koutouvides as the offender, one of several misses in that game.