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Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Quick hits from locker room

By Mike Reiss



FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Some quick-hit thoughts from the media-access period in the locker room:

1. New season. That was one of the themes that was easy to pick up from players. They've played half their games, are in a three-way AFC East tie at 5-3, and want to get back to focusing on the little things and fundamentals. They still feel they have a great opportunity ahead of them.

2. Players drawing larger media crowds included LB Rob Ninkovich, DL Kyle Love, WR Tiquan Underwood, RB Kevin Faulk, and LB Niko Koutouvides. In the media workroom, QB Tom Brady held a shorter-than-normal news conference.

3. Players were asked about DL Albert Haynesworth and echoed that management is going to make decisions it feels are in the best interest of the team. I didn't get the sense players were surprised by the move. I think some players felt Haynesworth didn't fit in.

4. Defensive back Sterling Moore, who was promoted off the practice squad, could get some work at safety. He has primarily been a cornerback over his college career but at 5-foot-10, 205 pounds, he could fit at safety with the team's depth thinned after Josh Barrett was placed on season-ending injured reserve.

5. Jersey updates: LB Niko Koutouvides (90), LB Mike Rivera (47), WR Tiquan Underwood (10).

6. RB Kevin Faulk on the mood in the locker room, while keeping in mind the Patriots could lose three in a row for the first time since 2002: "It doesn't even matter. Two in a row. Three in a row. Four in a row. You lost the game. It's not anything anybody's thinking about. ... The race is still going on. We still have a football season to play and we have a big game on Sunday against one of our archrivals. That's what matters right now."

7. Reserve offensive lineman Donald Thomas was back in the locker room after an unforgettable weekend. He became a dad for the first time on Saturday and there was a row of baby ducks in his locker.