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Quick Kicks: Fri. 1-27 Practice/Locker Room Notebook

Erik Scalavino gives his practice and locker room notes as the team makes it's final preparations before heading off to Indianapolis


… It was back inside the Dana-Farber Field House, New England's indoor facility behind Gillette Stadium, for today's practice. Players were in full pads, one of the rare times all season you'll see that.

… For the second day in a row, only TE Rob Gronkowski (left ankle) was absent from practice.

… Twelve players remain limited for various reasons: WR Deion Branch (knee), rookie OL Marcus Cannon (ankle), safety Patrick Chung (right foot), LB Dane Fletcher (right thumb), S James Ihedigbo (shoulder), DL Kyle Love (ankle), LG Logan Mankins (left knee), LB Rob Ninkovich (hip), LB Brandon Spikes (right knee), right tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back/right foot), WR Wes Welker (knee), and LB Tracy White.

… Two other players participated fully: C Dan Connolly (groin), and WR Matthew Slater (shoulder).

… As of this post, the Giants had yet to update their injuries.

… A lot of talk in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl revolves around distractions – specifically, the avoidance of them. TE Aaron Hernandez, playing in his first Super Bowl, says he's drawing on his big-game experiences at the University of Florida to help him through this long stretch. "There's nothing like where we're at now, going into this game. But I would say, obviously, the national championship, SEC championship, were definitely big games, very competitive … I don't think you have to worry about distractions going into a game like this. If you can't stay focused for the Super Bowl, then you've got a problem. I heard there's a lot of distractions, but I'm sure I'll be fine."

… "It's not something I've thought about," echoed RB Danny Woodhead. "I haven't been distracted by anything as of yet. Hopefully, it doesn't, and I don't think it will. We have a goal of winning the game, and it's a business trip."

… WR Deion Branch told reporters today that he's "very excited, very thankful," to be playing in the Super Bowl again. Although he added that he doesn't think much about winning the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIX anymore. "I'm still playing, and the hunger is there [for another championship]." When asked what he's done with his MVP trophy, he replied, "It's at the house in a glass case. My wife built this thing for me. It's real special. It's nice … now don't try to come over and steal it," he joked.

… Hernandez, a local boy from Bristol, CT, grew up a Patriots fan and is pinching himself sometimes when he considers the position he finds himself in today. "Honestly, it's crazy," he said. "I don't really sit back and think about it much, because I'm so busy, but when I do get the chance to think about it, it brings tears to my eyes. I always thought about playing in the NFL, I was a fan of the Patriots, Drew Bledsoe. So, just to be able to be on this team and contribute is an honor." There may be some dissention in the Hernandez family on Super Bowl, however. One of his uncles and a few other relatives, he revealed, are Giants fans.

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