Quick hits from the locker room

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Quick hits from the media-access period in the Patriots' locker room (11:15 a.m.-noon):

1. Players drawing larger media crowds included DE Andre Carter, TE Rob Gronkowski, G Brian Waters and CB/S Nate Jones. With the Patriots visiting the Redskins on Sunday, Carter was a natural storyline as he played for the Redskins from 2006-2010. After he conducted a long interview with New England reporters, Carter then sat down at his locker, dialed up the Washington press, and conducted the weekly opponents' conference call.

2. LB Dane Fletcher, who has missed the last six games (he's been on the injury report/thumb), made his most extended appearance in the locker room in months. This reflects how he's on the cusp on returning. He said he'd talk with reporters once he makes a contribution on the field.

3. Players were dressing in full pads for practice inside the Dana Farber Fieldhouse. The Patriots had walkthrough practices on the past three Wednesdays, but they are going to get after it today. Perhaps that's a message to the players from Bill Belichick, who wasn't happy with the way the team finished against the Colts on Sunday.

4. One player said a big theme of the day is "getting to know the Redskins." It's a team the Patriots aren't too familiar and this is the type of week when players can expect to be quizzed on opposing personnel.

5. Practice squad WR/TE Dorin Dickerson will wear No. 80. He answered a few questions from reporters, saying he is excited about the opportunity.