Quick hits from the locker room

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

1. Tight end Rob Gronkowski, cornerback Devin McCourty and center Dan Koppen were a few players drawing larger media crowds, while quarterback Tom Brady held his weekly news conference in the media workroom.

2. Gronkowski apologized for online photographs during the bye weekend that showed him standing next to an adult film star (link to Gronkowski's remarks here). Gronkowski, who prior to speaking with reporters met with members of the team's PR staff, appeared nervous and uncomfortable.

3. Koppen, who came into the locker room after a workout, said he just got off crutches and was optimistic about his future. He is in the last year of his contract and has plans to play in 2012 and beyond. Koppen lauded the work of his replacement, Dan Connolly, as well as the team's other linemen.

4. Players were preparing for a full-pads practice, with the hope they could take advantage of an extra day of preparation for Sunday's game against the Steelers after returning to work Tuesday.

5. Rookie offensive lineman Marcus Cannon walked through the room, but the plan is for him to speak with reporters Friday to discuss his return to the practice field.

6. Backup quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett were preparing to play the role of Ben Roethlisberger in practice. There are few quarterbacks like Roethlisberger in the NFL, so both were studying up on how to give the defense the best look.

7. Practice squad cornerback Malcolm Williams has taken Eric Kettani's old locker.