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Quick hits from locker room

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

1. Players drawing large media crowds were Pro Bowl selections guard Brian Waters, special teamer Matthew Slater, and tight end Rob Gronkowski, as well as running back Stevan Ridley, safety James Ihedigbo, offensive lineman Marcus Cannon, and newly-signed fullback Lousaka Polite.

2. Gronkowski and Slater, who were both selected to their first Pro Bowl, joked that they didn't know what to expect when called into head coach Bill Belichick's office on Tuesday afternoon. "[I was] a little bit [nervous]. I asked real quick if it was good or bad," Gronkowski cracked.

3. Newly-signed fullback Lousaka Polite, who will practice with the team for the first time on Wednesday, said his transition to Foxboro has been eased by former teammates DE Mark Anderson (Bears), DB Nate Jones (Cowboys, Dolphins), and OL Donald Thomas (Dolphins). Polite had spent the first 16 weeks of the season out of football, and said he enjoyed spending time with his 9-year old daughter at home in Miami. "Taking her to dance class, and doing things like that was something that was new for me during the season, but I was happy to have that opportunity," Polite said.

4. Rookie running back Stevan Ridley was asked about the atmosphere at LSU and how it compares to New England. In LSU's running back meeting room, a sign reads "It's better to die as a young boy than to fumble this football," Ridley explained. "It's kind of serious. That's kind of how I live. I try not to cough it up. But I just hold onto the ball any time I touch it," he said.