It's a new year for the Patriots . . . in more ways than one.
And Tom E. Curran, in a SportsNet Central appearance with Carolyn Manno, thinks the changed atmosphere in the locker room speaks well to the team's 2011 mindset.
"You've seen that in previous years, Patriots players sometimes would go and hide," Curran told Manno. "They'd turn themselves into phantoms, they'd go into the trainer's room, they'd go play dominoes someplace else, anything to stay out of the firing line of the media.
"But on Friday you saw basically every player at his locker. Tom Brady, Chad Ochocinco, Deion Branch, Julian Edelman were all in a row, playing their tunes. Rob Gronkowski behind them. There was a lot of levity going back and forth between those players. And I thought it was interesting because . . . you don't always see that atmosphere in that Patriots locker room.
"It's apparent to me that they're feeling good about things right now."