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Friday, December 13, 2013
Pats locker room notes

By Field Yates

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Passing along some of the sights and sounds from the media availability inside the Patriots locker room Friday afternoon.

Sopoaga honors the Chief. Veteran nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga, acquired at the trade deadline, has a signature fashion trend: basketball jerseys. He can be spotted almost daily inside the locker room wearing a different one, and today's pick had a familiar feel as he wore a Boston Celtics number 00 -- the jersey worn by Hall of Fame center Robert Parish. Sopagoa told me he has over 1,000 basketball jerseys in his collection but that some have been passed on to members of his family.

Talib readying for Wallace. Cornerback Aqib Talib has seen some of the NFL's best receivers in recent weeks, including Andre Johnson of the Texans and Josh Gordon of the Browns. He'll have his hands full again this week if he's tasked with slowing down Dolphins wideout Mike Wallace. "He's one of the top guys, man," Talib said of Wallace. "He's definitely one of the biggest deep threats in the league, and off that deep threat, you have to respect that so much, he can run all the rest of his routes. [He's a] dangerous receiver."

Playoffs not on Blount's mind. The playoffs are nothing new for many members of the Patriots organization, but LeGarrette Blount, acquired this past offseason, has never reached the postseason. Nonetheless, the potential to play into January isn't on his mind right now. "We've got to make sure we get there first, and it starts with Miami. As soon as we can go out there and hopefully get this win, then we can go from there."

Turning up the heat. The Patriots have practiced all week inside their practice bubble, one way to help simulate (or at least try) the heat they'll travel to this weekend in Miami, where temperatures are expected to be in the 80s. Danny Amendola said practicing indoors has been a big help, noting the warm temperature inside the bubble. Added Bill Belichick of preparing to play in the heat, "Whatever the playing conditions are, the situation is or the travel situation, we try to do the things that we feel are most advantageous for that set of circumstances, whatever it is, with our training staff, our strength and conditioning staff, from a nutrition standpoint, if it’s travel, our operations -- we do the things that we feel like would help us the most."