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Moving on to the Jets: Mon. 9/9 locker room notes

Posted Sep 9, 2013

The Patriots are moving on to prepare for the Jets after Sunday's opening game win in Buffalo.

On Monday afternoon, a handful of Patriots players spoke with the media in the locker room a day after their 23-21 victory in Buffalo. While the team’s 10th straight season opening win didn’t come easily, the mood was clear – it’s time to turn the page to the Jets.

“We’ve turned the page – that’s for sure,” said Patriots co-captain Matthew Slater as the team gets set to face the Jets in Foxboro on Thursday night.

“The key for us is to just mentally hone in and focus. We’re not going to have as much time on the practice field obviously, so it’s key for us to just hone in on the game plan and watch as much film as we can.”

New England will look for their 12th win in a row over AFC East opponents on Thursday, but may be without running back Shane Vereen who reportedly broke a bone in his wrist early during Sunday’s game. He’s expected to miss a few weeks.

Slater expressed that the “next man up” mentality is nothing new for this team.

“I think that’s something that’s always preached around here. You have to be ready and that’s part of being a role player and part of providing depth to the football team.

“When your number is called, you have to try and be ready and then fill in as needed. That’s going to come up over the course of the season time after time – and hopefully as that call is given it’s answered by players when they have to step up.”

One of the players who may see an increased role in Vereen’s absence is backup running back LeGarrette Blount, who spoke highly of his injured teammate’s play on Sunday (101 rushing yards, 58 receiving yards).

“He’s one of the best players that we had last night and he’s one of the best players on this team – and he showed it,” stated Blount.

“Losing him is going to hurt a lot, but we’re going to need to have some guys step up and try to fill his role.”

After starting running back Stevan Ridley was benched during the second half of Sunday’s game for ball security issues, the team could choose to insert him back into his typical featured role on Thursday night.

“He’s our starting guy,” said Blount on Ridley. “You’re going to have bad games.”

Rookies learning on the fly

Patriots rookies have little time to reflect on their first career NFL game. Punter Ryan Allen took a moment to discuss what the last 24 hours have been like as he flips the page to the Jets.

“There’s definitely things I looked at today that I want to improve on, but it’s another week this week and I’m focused on the Jets and getting ready for Thursday," he said.

He also touched on the biggest difference between a preseason and regular season game.

"I think you see most of the difference in the atmosphere – just the overall feeling and noise from the stadium and on the field."

The atmosphere will surely be electric for the Patriots home opener at Gillette Stadium on Thursday night.

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