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Julian Edelman’s return helps showcase Patriots’ potential – New England Patriots Blog


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — When the New England Patriots arrived on the field for the start of Thursday night’s game against the Indianapolis Colts, wide receiver Julian Edelman broke out into a full sprint and raced from one end zone to the other. He jumped into the air, spun, and pumped his right fist in excitement as Gillette Stadium erupted.

That spark carried on to the field as Edelman’s return from a torn ACL, which cost him the entire 2017 season, and then a four-game NFL suspension to open this year. It helped ignite the Patriots’ offense.

For three quarters, at least, it was a glimpse of how lethal the Patriots’ attack can be.

No, the Patriots didn’t finish off the Colts with the decisiveness they would have liked in a 38-24 victory, a result that was closer than it should have been if not for sloppy ball-security in the third quarter. But some flashes of brilliance in the first half and fourth quarter highlight the fireworks that could be coming in one of the most exciting games of the NFL season when the Kansas City Chiefs come to town Oct. 14.

The return of Edelman, who played 50 of 71 offensive snaps (including penalties), was a big part of it because it allowed the Patriots to play at a faster pace in a plan that featured a majority of three-receiver packages.

The Patriots didn’t have the personnel through the first quarter of the season to turn to three-receiver packages with an up-tempo approach. But with Edelman joining Chris Hogan (64 snaps) and Phillip Dorsett (43), that was the primary combination against the Colts, with newcomer Josh Gordon (20) and gadget option Cordarrelle Patterson (8) sprinkled into the mix.

That the first pass of the game went to Edelman, for nine yards, wasn’t a coincidence.

“That was great. We wanted to get him involved,” quarterback Tom Brady acknowledged. “Just good to have him out there. We all want it to be perfect every time we go out, but I was really happy to be out there with him. He’s a great player, and obviously, the more great players you have out there, the better we’re going to move the ball and score points.”

The way the Patriots moved it at times in the first half, and then in the fourth quarter, was how they will need to play against Kansas City. If they duplicate their poor third quarter, in which they had two interceptions because of poor ball-security from receivers, they might not be able to recover against a more talented team.

“We scored 38, which is great, but we have more in us this week,” Brady said, adding that the team has a 93 percent chance of winning when it doesn’t turn the ball over. “Last week, we scored 38 and I think we had more in us. So we’ve got a lot of room to grow, and we need to make improvements in a short period of time. … We play a great team in Kansas City coming up, a huge game.”

As for Edelman, his fiery entrance was a result of letting out emotion from not having played a regular-season game in 405 days. Not that he was counting.

“That’s something that gets me fired up and you get to share it with the people that come out and support you, get them riled up,” he said. “I remember when I tore my ACL, during the rehab, you’re sitting there and can’t wait to run out of that tunnel. So it was great to get to be able to play with the fellas, awesome to get the team win. Obviously, we could do a lot better, but any time you go ahead and beat a team in the conference, it’s always great, especially the Colts. We’ll leave it at that.”

And now, with a still-evolving offense that looked potent at times, they set their sights on the Chiefs.





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Mike Evans of Tampa Bay Buccaneers helps Jacksonville shooting victims


TAMPA, Fla. — There was trash talk, laughter and most of all — it was the first time top Madden player Shay Kivlen had smiled in over a week.

The 21-year-old known as “Young Kiv” took on Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans in a Madden game Monday to raise funds for victims of the Jacksonville Madden shooting on Aug. 26.

Kivlen lost his best friend Elijah “Trueboy” Clayton, 22, and another close friend in Taylor “Spotmeplzzz” Robertson, 27, when David Katz, 24, of Maryland, opened fire at the “Madden NFL 19” qualifying tournament, fatally shooting both of them and wounding 11 others before taking his own life.

“It’s nice to see that even though there’s this bad seed, there’s all these good people in this world,” said Kivlen, who was at the tournament 20 minutes before and who was told by EA staffers he may have been one of Katz’s targets. “I just don’t want anyone to feel the pain that I have.”

Money raised from the event, which was livestreamed on Tiltify, will help both families, whom Kivlen has been in touch with, cover the costs of funeral expenses.

“It’s such a horrible thing that anyone should have to go through,” Kivlen said. “I just feel so bad for [Clayton and Robertson’s] families [and] the families of the people that are hurting.”

For Evans, it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up, even if he was admittedly rusty at the game.

“It means a lot [to help]. To be able to be in this position … having a platform like this, I will never take it for granted. I always try to help as much as I can.”





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Jermaine Gresham, Arizona Cardinals tight end, helps traveler Delilah Cassidy make flight


TEMPE, Ariz. — They say no good deed goes unpunished.

Make that no good deed goes unnoticed.

Arizona Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham‘s act of kindness toward a fellow traveler Wednesday saved her from missing a flight and has caught the attention of social media.

A little after 4:30 p.m. ET, Delilah Cassidy tweeted about a potential travel disaster that ended with a chance interaction with Gresham, who essentially swooped in to save her day, all for $50.

Cassidy, who according to her Twitter profile attends law school at Arizona State, was boarding a flight when she was informed by the American Airlines gate agent that she would have to pay to carry on her bag. She tried to consolidate her bags, but after measuring, the gate agent told her she would have to pay $50.

Cassidy, who had just returned from a European trip, said her credit cards weren’t working. She tried to pay cash at the gate, but the agent told her she’d have to go back to the ticket counter to pay with cash. That would’ve meant missing her flight.

She tried to plead with the gate agent, who wouldn’t budge. Then Gresham, whom Cassidy didn’t recognize, came up and asked how much the charge was. He was told $50 and said, “I got it,” as Cassidy tweeted.

“I’m astonished and tell him it’s fine not to worry and he hands the lady his card as the American Airlines employees stand in silence shocked by this man’s generosity. They swipe the card and he tells me to have a great flight and hop on board,” Cassidy tweeted.

Once on board, she tried to offer Gresham, whom she still didn’t recognize, cash as she passed by him in first class. He wouldn’t accept it and told Cassidy to pay it forward.

“I’m crying as I write this and as I board the flight. This man was an angel,” she tweeted.

It wasn’t until after her flight that she found out the man who helped her was Gresham.

That tweet of her photo with Gresham has been liked more than 11,000 times.





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Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback, helps police arrest teenager in Jacksonville Beach


Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles intercepted a would-be thief and helped police arrest the teenager while at a Jacksonville Beach house party held at the home of teammate Brandon Linder on Wednesday night.

According to the Jacksonville Beach police report, a copy of which was obtained by News4Jax, 18-year-old Joseph Horton rummaged through several of the vehicles at the party, including Bortles’ Ford F-150, which was unlocked with the keys inside. Surveillance video showed Horton taking Bortles’ wallet from the truck; it was later found outside.

Witnesses, per the police report obtained by News4Jax, say Horton tried to drive away in the truck but couldn’t get out of a crowded lot, so instead entered the home.

Police then were called and found Horton being held by Bortles and two of his friends.

Horton was arrested and charged with burglary, trespassing and grand theft, online records show.



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Julian Edelman of New England Patriots helps stop potential school shooter


New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is prolific on his personal Instagram account, and his interaction with those who follow him might have prevented a potential tragedy.

As first reported in The New York Times, Edelman was visiting former teammate Danny Amendola in Texas in late March when he received a direct message on Instagram that read, “Dude, there is a kid in your comment section says he s going to shoot up a school, I think you should alert the authority.”

In an interview with the Times, Edelman explained that he notified his assistant in Boston, who found the message that read: “I’m going to shoot my school up watch the news.”

Edelman’s assistant then called 911, and the message was ultimately traced to a 14-year-old boy in Port Huron, Michigan. When police arrived at the boy’s home, according to the Times, he admitted to posting the threat. Authorities also found two rifles that belonged to his mother, a police chief told the Times.

The boy was taken to a juvenile-detention center and remains there after being charged with making a false report of a threat of terrorism.

Edelman plans to send something to the Instagram follower who alerted him about the threat, telling the Times, “He’s the real hero.”

“It’s not good enough anymore to disregard comments like those as offhanded,” said Don Yee, who is Edelman’s agent. “All of us, including players, are learning together to take these kinds of things very seriously.”



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