FOXBOROUGH -- Patriots coach Bill Belichick held his Wednesday press conference (10:45-11 a.m.) and media members had access to the locker room (11-11:45 a.m.) today at Gillette Stadium. Here were a few nuggets of note:
1) Cross between a Monday/Wednesday schedule. With an extra day to prepare for Monday night's game against the Broncos, the Patriots have a different type of schedule today. Normally, Wednesday would be a focus-solely-on-the-next-opponent day, but the Patriots also took time this morning to go over corrections from the Chargers game. That would normally take place on a Monday, but since the Patriots didn't have a normal Monday schedule this week upon their return from San Diego, it was a mix of looking back and looking ahead today.
2) Deltha O'Neal and the long ball. Cornerback Deltha O'Neal, who waved off reporters after Sunday's loss, spoke with media members for the first time since he was beaten on 48- and 49-yard pass plays. He said he took the performance hard, but that he's committed to having a short-term memory partly because he expects the Broncos to test him deep. O'Neal felt he was in position to make both plays, and that nine times out of 10 he would either intercept or at least break up those passes.
3) Happy returns for Stephen Neal and Oliver Ross. Both guard Stephen Neal and tackle Oliver Ross talked about practicing for the first time with the team. "I'm pretty excited," Neal said. Ross, number 76 on the Patriots' roster, said: "It's the first time going out there in a while, so you get to knock the rust off a little bit."
4) Laurence Maroney in focus. It did not look like running back Laurence Maroney had been in the locker room at all, as his travel luggage was there, and his chair remained folded up in his locker. [UPDATE: I am told Maroney was spotted walking through the locker room prior to my arrival.]
5) Players happy to be back. Cornerback Ellis Hobbs said he was glad to be back in New England after spending 10 days in California. "I think the California time hit me just yesterday; I didn't go to bed until 5 this morning," he said. "I was just staring at the wall."