FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- It started in the morning, with head coach Bill Belichick in a noticeably good mood for his news conference, often a positive sign that he is pleased with his team's preparations that week.
Then it continued over into the afternoon, with players mingling with reporters more than usual in the open locker room period following their final practice of the week.
The looser feel to Thursday sent one message above all else: it has been a good week in Foxborough.
"I think we've had a good week of practice," wide receiver Wes Welker said. "Guys have been really focused in and made sure that we're doing everything necessary to playing well this weekend. That's our goal, and we've made a good head start to do that."
"We're as ready as we're going to be," linebacker Jerod Mayo said. "It was a Friday practice, tighten all the loose ends, hope we got it all together."
Mayo was later asked if the team is happy with where they are, especially coming off a first round bye.
"We are," Mayo said. "We didn't take the bye week off. We went out there, and we went through the problem plays that we had, and hopefully got them corrected."