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Quick Kicks: Fri 1/11 practice & locker room notes

For the final practice of Texans Week, the Patriots went on the freshly painted Gillette Stadium game field. It got overcast and chillier today – down to more seasonable temps – but it’s expected to be mid-50s by game time Sunday.


For the third straight day, the team had perfect attendance at practice. All 61 players were on the field at the start.

Rookie DE Chandler Jones made his weekly appearance in front of cameras and microphones, and was teased by veteran tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was on his way to the weight room. "Chandler, you've got to work out. You're weak!" Gronk exclaimed.

Jones just smiled and continued answering reporters' questions, like how preparing for a playoff game is different from the regular season. "It's not a huge difference," replied Jones. "There is a sense of urgency, just because of the time of year we're playing, but you approach every game the same exact way."

Running back Stevan Ridley said he expects the Texans to come back to Foxborough "with a chip on their shoulders" because of the way they played last month in a 42-14 blowout loss to New England, but all he knows for sure is how his own club is feeling. "Right now the team is excited, ready to go, and we're ready to play some football. We have three games. We have three games [to win the Super Bowl], but it starts with one this Sunday. We're excited. We're ready to go. It's a big game. This team has worked hard. This is what we have prepared for all year."

Ridley also said he could detect an increased intensity from his head coach, who used  a military analogy earlier today to make a point about Sunday's game. "When you talk to the Navy SEALs and those guys about when they go on a mission, how they talk about, 'Alright, so we get there and we practiced going over a six-foot wall and the wall is 30-feet high.' Well, that's the way it is in the NFL," explained Bill Belichick. "You practice for whatever – you think you're going to swim across a 200-yard lake and the lake is 800 yards across. You have to get across it. You get in an NFL game and think you're going to get this and then you get that. Or you think they're going to play this guy and they play some other guy. You face new challenges. That's part of gamesmanship and part of the competition. There's always that unknown in the game, but things happen that you just can't predict or you can't prepare for because they're working on things; we don't know what they're doing. They'll come up with something that will cause us to make an adjustment. I'm sure we'll do the same thing to them somewhere along the line. Everybody has to figure it out and make the best of it. That's what makes this a great game."

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