Patriots Notes: Spirits High In Foxboro As New England Enters Well-Timed Bye

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FOXBORO, Mass. — Some notes and nuggets from the New England Patriots’ final day of media availability before they disperse for a much-needed weekend off:

— As one would expect, the mood was upbeat and the atmosphere loose Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. The players clearly were excited to enter their bye week after reeling off four consecutive victories.

Safety Devin McCourty’s T-shirt of choice captured the vibe nicely:

McCourty is a T-shirt connoisseur, and he spent the last few minutes of his news conference discussing his unique fashion sense.

“I probably have maybe 200 (T-shirts),” he said. “I’m not into the whole button-down look, so I don’t have many collared shirts. My wife gets mad when we go to dinner at nice places, but it is what it is. But you walk through the store, you see something you like, if it matches your personality.

“Maybe when I’ll retire, I’ll try to be a fashion-guy stylist and only get guys T-shirts. So if you’re looking for T-shirts, give me a couple years, hire me.”

What makes a good T-shirt?

“The message is definitely important,” McCourty said. “And you want to have a bunch of different colors. You want to be able to match sneakers and all of that stuff. T-shirts seem simple, but a lot of thought has to go into it.”

— Each player takes his own approach to the bye week, which comes at an ideal time for this banged-up Patriots team.

Wide receiver Brandin Cooks, for example, said he’s going to hang around Boston rather than take the six-hour flight back to his native Stockton, Calif. McCourty plans to visit his twin brother, Jason, who plays cornerback for the Cleveland Browns.

“He has a bye week, too,” the 30-year-old said. “So we’ll probably just be two old guys chillin’.”

Tight end Rob Gronkowski has relaxation and recovery on his bye-week agenda. He said he approaches the weekend off much differently now, at 28, than he did earlier in his career.

“I would say it’s definitely evolved a little bit,” Gronkowski said. “I definitely put more time into getting the body more right. I’m not 21, 22 now anymore. I would say I’m probably spending a little more time on the body, just getting it right so I come back fresh.”

— Six Patriots earned “practice player of the week” honors for their work during the lead-up to Sunday’s 21-13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

The most notable player on that list? Tight end Dwayne Allen, who has yet to catch his first pass in a Patriots uniform and has not been targeted since Week 4.

Thumbnail photo via Zack Cox/NESN.com

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