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Monday, September 19, 2011
Quick hits from Patriots locker room

By Chris Forsberg

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Quick hits from the media-access period in the Patriots locker room on Monday:

1. A quiet day in the room with players simply watching film of Sunday's 35-21 triumph over the Chargers and going through position meetings. Only a small portion of the team even walked through the room during the hour it was open to the media.

2. Players drawing larger media crowds included tight end Dan Gronkowski, defensive end Mark Anderson, and safety Josh Barrett.

3. None of the players injured in Sunday's game were spotted in the locker room, including tight end Aaron Hernandez (knee), safety Patrick Chung (hand), cornerback Ras-I Dowling (thigh), and punter Zoltan Mesko (knee).

4. Asked if he was ready should his role ramp up this week, Gronkowski said, "Definitely. They expect me to know everything now. I’m at that point. I'm ready to get in there and just help out the team however I can." The elder Gronkowski has played a fair amount of snaps -- mostly as blocking tight end -- since joining the Patriots just days before the season-opener, but could see his role increase further if Hernandez is sidelined moving forward.

5. Barrett noted the "stat sheet says a lot," when asked about how the Patriots' defense didn't allow San Diego tight end Antonio Gates to catch a single pass in Sunday's game. Clearly that was a defensive goal coming into Sunday's game and members of the defense have expressed great satisfaction over the past 24 hours in how they were able to contain Gates.