Quick hits from locker room

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Quick hits from the media-access period in the locker room today:

1. Players drawing large crowds of reporters included offensive linemen Matt Light and Brian Waters, safety Josh Barrett, running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis and tight end Rob Gronkowski.

2. Two messages from defensive players shined through -- 1. The top goal this week is to "stop No. 20" (a.k.a. running back Darren McFadden); 2. Bill Belichick's message to them is to get back to being what they are -- tough, physical, technically sound. Better tackling is a must.

3. Several offensive linemen said they view the strength of the Raiders' defense up front, along the defensive line. Light called them a "physical group", noting they have 7-8 linemen who rotate through, which is a bit unusual. "They're pretty fresh when they roll through there," said Light, adding that the Raiders use a lot of stunts.

4. Most likely due to his injury status, safety Patrick Chung is keeping his distance from reporters.

5. No practice player of the week honors given out this week, as those only come after a win.

6. Practice squad linebacker A.J. Edds was not in the locker room, having told teammates earlier that he was signing with the Colts' active roster. So that will be another spot for the Patriots to fill on the practice squad.

7. Good fun with with punter Zoltan Mesko and kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who are a humorous duo on one side of the locker room. Gostkowski was campaigning one reporter to start calling Mesko the "Romanian Rifle." Mesko fired back, requesting that if the reporter did so, Gostkowski should be referred to as the "Polish Pistol." Laughs all around.