Ellis Hobbs takes off his pads following Saturday's practice. (Travis Dove / Globe Photo)
It's been a busy day down here at Gillette Stadium, where the Boss still hasn't taken the stage and coach Bill Belichick got a new haircut.
Offensive lineman Nick Kaczur, cornerback Ellis Hobbs and wide receiver Wes Welker all spoke with the media.
Kaczur addressed his off-season OxyContin woes for the first time since they came to light.
The husky-voiced offensive lineman was contrite, but did not go into details when asked how he ended up being pulled over in April with 202 pills of the prescription painkiller in his possession.
"I definitely made a mistake," said Kaczur. "It's football season now. I'm trying to put everything behind me and concentrate on the season now. It's a good thing I have the support of a great organization, and my teammates were all behind and my family and my wife. It's just time to focus on the season now and put everything behind me."
He also thanked the Patriots for sticking with him. "Definitely. How could you not be [thankful]. I'm definitely very thankful for that."
Wes Welker at Saturday's practice. (AP)
"It's not much of practicing, just participating," said Hobbs. "I talked to the coaches. We have a great understanding of what I'm doing right now, just getting into the swing of things. Not necessarily trying to go out there and go full-go. [It's] go as much as I need to go, and let those guys know and work my way back into the program, work my way back into the defense, 3-4, dime, and all those things."
Hobbs said he's not focused on how the Patriots are going to replace Asante Samuel at cornerback.
"I don't really pay attention to the writing and the newspapers and this and that," said Hobbs. "I hear it rarely. I'm telling you man. I don't read [it]. I don't watch the news. When I talk to you guys, if I didn't say it I don't know what else there is, so it's like I don't really bother with those things. Asante is gone and that's something else than what we have to worry about here."
Welker, who was back after a groin injury that forced him to miss mini-camp and the start of training camp, said he's feels he's fully healthy now.
"I feel ready to go. If I wasnít 100 percent I wouldnít be out there," said Welker.
The normally sure-handed Welker, who had an NFL-best and Patriots franchise record 112 receptions last season, dropped a few passes upon his return.
"I think itís, you know, hard to meet up with the guys in the offseason and get balls as hard as these guys can throw," said Welker. "So, I think thatís one of the tougher parts, especially if youíre not in shape. First off, being in shape, and then getting used to getting those balls and catching them and tucking them away."
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