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Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Quick hits from media day

By Mike Reiss



INDIANAPOLIS -- Quick hits from Patriots media day at Lucas Oil Stadium:

1. Spent about half of the one-hour session at tight end Rob Gronkowski's podium and the big news was that he shed his walking boot on Monday and said he won't wear it again. On top of that, Gronkowski had reporters laughing often. Maybe the funniest moment came when someone asked him to describe the pain of a high ankle sprain. Gronkowski paused, gathered his thoughts, then said "Let me give you one."

2. There was a lighthearted exchange between Gronkowski and Maria Menounos, host of EXTRA, who was wearing a Patriots jersey. When Menounos informed Gronkowski that she had a friendly wager that would require her to wear a Giants bikini if the Giants won, Gronkowski said it was nice to know there could be a positive if the Patriots lose.

3. Offensive linemen Matt Light and Sebastian Vollmer did not participate because of illness, according to the team. On the coaching side, offensive assistant Josh McDaniels wasn't made available.

4. Neat experience for fans, who bought tickets to attend Media Day and sat in the stands with headphones, with the option of tuning in to a few different channels to listen to different players. They seemed to love it. 

5. Offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien drew a big crowd, as expected. Whenever he was asked about Penn State, he said he'd prefer to keep the discussion about the Patriots, because that's why he was here. Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia was also a popular target for reporters.

6. Recever Chad Ochocinco, a niche player at this point, still draws a big crowd. He didn't have a podium, but his presence attracted the masses.

7. For those looking to get into some hard-core Xs and Os talk, the chance to speak with assistant coaches was welcomed. I came away impressed with defensive backs coach Josh Boyer's knowledge and background in the game. Much like Bill Belichick, he's been around the game from a young age.

8. A lot of players recorded the scene to capture the memory, and when they entered the field to begin Media Day, the Dropkick Murphy's played on the public address system.

9. Dante Scarnecchia loves rookie offensive tackle Nate Solder. "How could you want any more out of a young kid than we have this year?" he said.

10. Little-known fact: Rob Gronkowski attended Super Bowl XLII as a fan; he was a freshman at Arizona at he time. Good seats? "Not really," he said.