Quick hits from Pats locker room

January, 10, 2014
Jan 10
5:00
AM ET
With kickoff Saturday night, the Patriots will use Friday as a walkthrough day and tie up any loose ends in their preparation for the Colts.

There will be no media access, as the players spoke with reporters for the final time on Thursday afternoon.

Below are a few highlights from Gillette:

Gostkowski’s pregame routine. Many sports fans and young athletes grow up visualizing a signature moment, be it catching a touchdown or hitting a free throw at the professional level.

Gostkowski
As it turns out, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski has a routine he follows before each game that includes visualizing himself making kicks.

“I always just try to visualize myself doing well and not getting overexcited or too hyped up in the moment,” he said, before adding lightheartedly, “Most of those guys are banging heads. I’m trying to like listen to Enya before the game to calm myself down. All I do is just try to -- the worst thing you can do in situations where, for me personally, where the situation gets bigger is get too excited.”

The veteran kicker added that he watches cut-ups of previous kicks that he has made to help put himself in a positive frame of mind before games.

Mankins talks beards. Guard Logan Mankins is currently sporting a thick beard, as he often has in the past. It stacks up with almost any other on the team, perhaps trailing only defensive end Rob Ninkovich's in terms of thickness.

“Rob, he’s got a nice beard,” Mankins said of his teammate’s facial hair, before joking. “I think he’s got some PEDs in there or something, but it looks good.”

Beards have become a popular look among Boston sports teams of late, with the Red Sox recently generating plenty of buzz for their bearded look during their 2013 World Series winning season.

“Those guys, they looked good,” Mankins said of the Sox. “Especially the ones with grey in [them]. Those ones are always my favorites.”

Amendola ready for postseason debut. While many Patriots are veterans of the postseason, this marks wide receiver Danny Amendola's first trip.

Asked Thursday if he anticipates the game will feel any different than a regular-season contest, Amendola said, “I’m ready. I’m ready to get going. It’s playoff time, you know?”

Reaching the postseason was one of the first goals laid out for Amendola and his team at the beginning of the season.

“We have a goal at the beginning of the year to make the playoffs, wherever you are,” he said. “You work just as hard throughout the year. We put a lot of hard work in this year -- overcame a lot of obstacles and adversity. So, we’re all ready to go and we’re all excited.”
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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