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McGowan takes home championship belt

09.16.09 at 12:25 pm ET

FOXBOROUGH — Just got back from a few minutes in the Patriots’€™ locker room, and it was a relatively quiet session. Adalius Thomas, James Sanders, Pierre Woods and Jarvis Green all drew big crowds. We’€™ll have more from them later on, including quotes from Woods on how the rest of the young linebacker have to pull together in the wake of Jerod Mayo‘€™s injury.

One of the things that stood out the most for me was safety Brandon McGowan and the big championship belt he had hanging over the top of his locker. According to the safety, it was the award handed out by assistant coach Pepper Johnson for Practice Player of the Week.

‘€œJust giving the guys a good look. Basically doing my job — nothing spectacular,’€ McGowan said when asked about what he did to earn the honor. ‘€œYou want to give them a good look. You don’€™t want to just run out there and be lacking, doing nothing.’€

McGowan, a 25-year-old out of Maine, is a 5-foot-11, 210-pound defensive back in his first season with the Patriots. He had good preseason, showing a real knack for being around the ball — he had a big hit that forced a fumble against the Bengals, as well an interception in the preseason finale against the Giants.

He followed that up with a nice job in the regular-season opener against the Bills, where he saw extensive action in the New England secondary, and finished with one tackle in coverage and one on special teams.

McGowan, who also gets to sport a black practice jersey as his reward, says he’€™s going to ‘€œtry’€ and defend his belt this week, but wouldn’€™t handicap the rest of the field of challengers.

‘€œIt’€™s going to be tough, because I know there are going to be other players who are going to be doing the same thing I did last week,’€ he said with a smile. ‘€œIt’€™s going to be a tough week.’€

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