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Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Sights & sounds from Gillette

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Bills coach Chan Gailey drew a chuckle from Patriots coach Bill Belichick for a witty remark he made to media members on an early-afternoon conference call.

"I hope we don't kick it to [Dan Connolly]," Gailey cracked.

Made aware of Gailey's comment at his early-afternoon media briefing, Belichick smiled.

"Yeah, I bet Chan’s really worried about that," he said.

Connolly's 71-yard kickoff return in Sunday night's win over the Packers remained a topic of discussion Wednesday, especially after Connolly was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

Humor aside, Connolly's status for Sunday's game is uncertain after he was knocked out of Sunday's win with a head injury. Connolly wasn't at practice and his absence would likely thrust Ryan Wendell into a starting role.

"As far I'm concerned, I just have to prepare like I do every week to do whatever the team asks me to do," Wendell said during the media-access period in the locker room (11:15-noon). "Whatever they ask me to do, I'll try to do my best."

In addition to Wendell, cornerback Kyle Arrington, linebacker Jerod Mayo and tight end Alge Crumpler were a few players drawing large media crowds. One local television station had some players singing lines for a Christmas tune, and practice squad safety Ross Ventrone had some fun with that, busting out one line that could be heard from across the locker room.

In the interview room, defensive captain Vince Wilfork held court with reporters and explained how it's going to be tough to leave his kids on Christmas, as the team will be traveling to Buffalo that day.

"My oldest [13] understands. My 7-year-old, she doesn’t understand [and asks] ‘Why do you have to go to work, Daddy?’ It’s tough, but at the same time, this is my job. I will always put my job first to provide for my family and that’s exactly what it is. ... I think the young guys have to understand how important this week is for us, we have to do a real good job of staying focused and just eliminating everything else around it, and coming back home on Sunday with a ‘W’. And we can enjoy Christmas after that – a day later."