Vollmer hopes to return against Steelers
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--OL Sebastian Vollmer is hoping to get back on
the field this week against Pittsburgh. He's missed five games due to a
Asked if he'll be back Sunday, Vollmer simply said, "We'll see how it
goes." Rookie Nate Solder has been filling in admirably since Vollmer
sustained the injury.
--RB Kevin Faulk doesn't anticipate a change in
his role upon returning to the lineup. Faulk started the season on the
physically unable to perform list after rehabilitating from offseason
"My role has always been the same -- do what I got
to do to help the team," Faulk said. "If I'm playing or if I'm on the
sideline answering questions, I'll do it. My role now is just to
practice and try to get better and try to get back on the playing
--OL Dan Koppen is out for the season due to an
ankle injury, but he's made progress since he got hurt. He's out of a
walking boot and is actually walking without crutches.
"I just got off crutches, so I'm pretty happy
about that," Koppen said. "I just got back into working out and I'm
taking it slow. No rush to rush back now. Just get 100 percent and get
ready to go next year."
--TE Rob Gronkowski made headlines this weekend
for posing in photos with an adult film actress who was wearing his
"I intended to hurt no one," Gronkowski said. "I
love this organization, love being part of here and everything and
definitely not trying to put anyone on the map or anything, but like I
said, I'm just here for the (game against the) Steelers.
"All I care about is the Steelers, and all I care
about is this team and being here with the team from this week and
practicing and getting better every day."
--Although they've had success in recent years
against the Steelers, the Patriots are still wary of Pittsburgh's
defense, which is ranked among the league leaders.
"They're a big physical defense that plays very
hard -- well coached (and) they don't make many mental errors at all,"
QB Tom Brady said. "And then they have some exceptional playmakers like
"When he's not in there, you actually see what kind of influence he has
on that defense because of his ability to make plays for them. They're
very well-rounded. They always lead the league in defense."
--Some Patriots enjoyed their bye week at home
with their families. Others traveled, including QB Tom Brady.
"I was with my kids," he said. "We went on
vacation to the Bahamas. I was with my wife and my kids and just to see
them play and build sand castles on the beach, you never think it's
going to be this much fun. You realize how much your mom and dad really
love you when you're able to spend some time with your kids."
--DL Albert Haynesworth hasn't had much of an
impact this year with zero tackles since Week 1 and two missed games
due to a back injury, but he's hoping his experience will pay dividends
down the stretch.
"I feel fine. I just need to keep working and get
that rust off and get back to that form I was in Tennessee,"
Haynesworth said. "I think we're OK (as a defensive line). We're on the
up and up. I think we need to get better, but I think we're headed that
BY THE NUMBERS: 2 -- The number of interceptions
by Vince Wilfork in 2011. Anthony Pleasant (2001) is the only other
Patriots defensive lineman to record two interceptions in the same
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Anyone want to talk about the
Steelers?" -- TE Rob Gronkowski when pressed about photos that surfaced
this weekend in which an adult film actress was wearing his jersey.
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