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Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Quick hits from the locker room

By Mike Reiss, Chris Forsberg & Mike Rodak

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

1. Guard Brian Waters, safety Patrick Chung, tight end Rob Gronkowski, offensive tackle Nate Solder, and receivers Wes Welker and Matthew Slater were players drawing larger media crowds.

2. Safety Ross Ventrone and cornerback Sterling Moore, who were released Monday, were back in the locker room. The Patriots do have an open spot on the 53-man roster, and also have one practice squad opening. The hunch here is that Ventrone takes the spot on the 53, with Moore back on the practice squad.

3. Much different vibe in the locker room than a regular game week. Players are more relaxed and many talked about their bye-week plans, with a lot of them scheduled to leave town. One player has a 5 p.m. flight today, but wasn't sure he'd make it, depending on how long practice lasted. Another player said his wife is due to deliver their first baby this weekend, which would be perfect timing.

4. More bye-week chatter: Brian Waters is planning to head home to Texas and his hope is to catch a Rangers-Cardinals World Series game. He's unsure he'll be able to land tickets.

5. Another sign it is a bye week: Bill Belichick has scheduled practice inside the Dana Farber Fieldhouse today. This is the first indoor practice since the season began.