post

Julian Edelman says Josh Gordon made strong first impression with New England Patriots


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Julian Edelman said Thursday that fellow New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon has made a strong first impression, and he believes bigger things are ahead for Gordon.

“Dude works hard. Great teammate. I really think he can be a really big piece of us,” Edelman said after the team’s walkthrough practice in preparation for Sunday night’s home game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

“It’s exciting to be around him. He loves football, you can tell. He knows his stuff. It’s getting more and more fun the more he knows.”

Gordon caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady in last week’s win over the Indianapolis Colts, but he has only played on a part-time basis over two games (18 snaps apiece), in part because he’s still limited by a hamstring injury.

Brady previously said his touchdown throw to Gordon, a deep ball into double coverage in the end zone, was reflective of the trust he has built with Gordon in a short period of time. The Patriots acquired Gordon — who has four catches for 82 yards — from the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 17 for a fifth-round draft choice.

The inclusion of Gordon in the attack, along with Edelman’s return last week from a four-game NFL suspension to open the season, has added a spark to the Patriots’ passing game. Edelman had seven catches for 57 yards in his return against the Colts.

“It’s getting better each day,” Edelman said of his transition back to football, adding that returning to practice has allowed him to build his confidence in competitive situations. “I feel like my conditioning is pretty good. You’re always working to get it better.”

Of Sunday night’s game against the Chiefs, he said, “We’re playing an undefeated team that looks unbelievable. We’ve got a battle. If you love football, this is why you play — games like this. Two tough teams. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”

Having missed all of the 2017 season with a torn ACL, and then sitting out due to suspension, Edelman’s appreciation for the game has grown that much greater.

“You definitely appreciate it once you’ve been away, and I was away for a year and some change,” he said. “It’s good to be out with the fellas. Meetings can get on you a little bit here and there, but you realize you need it. It’s good to be back.”



Source link

post

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.





Source link

post

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman to play versus Indianapolis Colts


New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman will make his 2018 season debut on Thursday vs. the Indianapolis Colts, per a league source, marking his return from a four-game suspension and the ACL he tore in August 2017.

Edelman can thank, in part…the Boston Celtics.

Edelman has spent time working out at the Celtics’ new training facility in Boston, sources tell ESPN. Edelman spent a significant number of mornings around the Celtics’ training staff and used the team’s Celtics weight room.

And he frequently played ping pong against Celtics star Gordon Hayward, who was a high school tennis champion in Indiana.

“He’s a good player,” Hayward texted ESPN. “I haven’t played against someone who moved like he did when he played. He was all over the place and low to the ground.”

Hayward thinks he beat Edelman 9-1 in games but as Hayward noted, “They were all close. It was fun getting a chance to hang out with him and compete in something. We were battling and by the end we would have an audience watching.”

On Thursday, Edelman also will have an audience watching — with Hayward be rooting for his hometown Colts. But this time he will playing his regular sport, against Indianapolis, on Thursday Night Football.



Source link

post

New England Patriots welcome Julian Edelman back with open arms


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore was in the middle of an interview with reporters Monday afternoon when wide receiver Julian Edelman approached him and whacked him on the backside.

Gilmore didn’t need such a reminder that Edelman was back in the locker room for the first time after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substances policy. He said Edelman is the type of player who stands out immediately because of his vocal presence.

“It wasn’t the same without him, man. In the locker room, especially, with him talking,” Gilmore said.

Edelman didn’t do any talking with reporters on Monday, which was the first day he was eligible to return, but it was easy to see he was already hard at work. A large white bucket of tennis balls used to practice hand-eye coordination was next to his chair, and the sliding doors to his locker were opened wide for the first time in a month.

The Patriots didn’t hold a practice Monday, just meetings, and Edelman’s return was naturally noted by teammates.

“You know, he hasn’t changed a bit,” said quarterback Tom Brady, who is one of Edelman’s closest friends. “Four weeks off, he looks good.”

The Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night, which means Edelman — who is now sporting a scruffy beard — could be thrust back into the mix quickly alongside fellow receivers Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson and Josh Gordon.

“Everyone’s excited to have him back, and any time you add great players, it’s going to help what we’re doing,” Brady said. “We all welcome him back. He’s excited, ready to go, and hopefully he can go out and play great.

“He gets open so quick, I think that’s the thing about Julian, his explosiveness in the routes, in and out of breaks. It’s very comforting for a quarterback to see a guy get open really early in a route. … We’ve played so much football together, I really have no doubt where he’s going to be at, what he’s capable of. He’s been a great player for our team.”

Edelman arrived at Gillette Stadium shortly after 7 a.m. on Monday. Coach Bill Belichick said in his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI that he talked with Edelman in the morning and “we’ll see how it works out” in terms of whether he plays in Thursday’s game.

“This obviously isn’t going to be a big week of practice or a great opportunity to practice [with a Thursday game]. So we’ll have to do our best to evaluate things and make a decision obviously prior to game time,” Belichick said on WEEI.

“The timing and execution of it; when you’re by yourself as Julian has been, we’ve had other players in this situation before for a number of weeks — four weeks in this case — you can run around the track and do all the sit-ups you want, but it’s different when you have 21 other guys on the field playing football.

“The timing, the awareness, the space, and the players that are in that space, is something you only can get used to by doing it. That’s a process any player would need to go through. Julian knows that. I’m sure he’ll work hard and do the best he can and we’ll see where we’re at.”

Edelman’s next-door neighbor in the locker room, special-teams captain Matthew Slater, acknowledged the boost that Edelman’s return provides the team.

“He’s a key cog in what we do here. He’s a true Patriot and he’s really unique in the person that he is and obviously the player that he is, so we’re all excited to have him back,” Slater said.



Source link

post

Patriots’ Julian Edelman having tough week as suspension looms


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman acknowledged that this has been a challenging week for him, as he gets in his final work before serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substances policy.

“Real football starts soon, so it’s definitely been a reality check,” Edelman said after the team’s practice Tuesday. “I’m not going to sit here and worry about things I can’t control. Ultimately, I put myself in this situation, so it’s more of ‘let’s go and get myself ready for when I can play.'”

Edelman, who is returning from a torn ACL that sidelined him for the entire 2017 season, said that preparation will include taking extra time to “get my knee feeling great.” He didn’t detail how he plans to spend the four weeks away but ensured he’d be watching each of the team’s first four games — against the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins. He’ll be banned from the team’s facility during his suspension.

As for his final week around the team, he said he’s preparing to play in Thursday’s preseason finale against the New York Giants.

“I definitely put a lot more value into these practices and every opportunity I’ve had this week to go out and do extra,” he said. “I won’t be there for the first four, so I don’t want to go into those weeks saying ‘I wish I would have done this or I wish I would have done that.’ It’s been a hard week.”

In the 2016 season, when quarterback Tom Brady was set to serve a four-game NFL suspension to open the year, he played in the preseason finale. Edelman said Brady has been “very helpful” to him on how to handle the four weeks away.

How the Patriots fill Edelman’s void is one of their most pressing issues, as Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson top the receiver depth chart.



Source link

post

Julian Edelman, New England Patriots wide receiver, says return a ‘grind’ after ACL tear


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman‘s return from a torn right ACL that sidelined him last season remains a work in progress.

“I feel like I got to get my legs under me a lot more. I don’t have my camp legs, I don’t have football legs, and it’s evident out there,” he said Friday after the team’s eighth practice of training camp.

Edelman, who will serve a four-game suspension to open the season for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy, has been a full participant throughout training camp. He is usually the first receiver through drills and part of the top-receiver group in 11-on-11 work.

His return to health will be critical for the Patriots, who are undergoing significant transition at receiver after trading Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams in the offseason and having Danny Amendola depart in free agency to the Miami Dolphins.

To this point in training camp, Edelman described his return as a “grind.”

“You get tired, you create bad habits, you don’t run your routes right and you get yelled at in meetings for it. I’m expecting to do that because I got to pick it up,” he said. “I wasn’t as good as I want to be today and feeling that’s because I’m not in the best shape right now.”

Edelman, who enters his 10th NFL season (all with the Patriots), believes he can get where he wants to be in time.

“You just keep on going out, and you grind. You keep on when you’re tired, when you don’t feel well. You got to be able to perform when things aren’t going great, and that’s what this does,” he said. “That’s what eight days in a row does, and that’s what going out in training camp — there’s no light at the end of the tunnel right now. You got to go out and embrace it and take advantage of each day.”

How the Patriots’ receiving corps comes together without Edelman for the first four games of the season is one of the evolving top storylines for the team in training camp, as veteran Eric Decker is expected to join the mix, possibly as early as Saturday’s practice.

The Patriots pursued Decker after releasing five-year veteran Jordan Matthews (hamstring) on Wednesday, and with Kenny Britt being brought back cautiously from a hamstring injury and Malcolm Mitchell‘s knee injury keeping him off the field.

So it’s been Edelman and Chris Hogan as the top two receivers in practice, with Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson also seeing significant repetitions. First-year player Riley McCarron (Iowa) is also getting a long look, followed by 2018 sixth-round pick Braxton Berrios (Miami) and long shots Devin Lucien and Paul Turner.



Source link

post

Julian Edelman of New England Patriots accepts responsibility for four-game suspension


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman addressed his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances for the first time Saturday, saying he accepts the punishment.

“Obviously, you’re disappointed with it, but I got to follow the protocols a little better and make sure this never happens again,” Edelman said after the team’s third practice of training camp. “I’m accountable for my actions.”

Edelman, who missed the 2017 season after tearing his ACL in August, has been a full participant in training camp practices. He is often the first receiver to go through drills, and on Saturday, he spent time after practice working with quarterback Tom Brady.



Source link

post

Julian Edelman of New England Patriots denied appeal


New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman‘s appeal was denied Tuesday, a source tells ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

His four-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs stands.

Edelman focused on two key issues in his appeal, which was heard on June 25. The first was that the substance for which Edelman tested positive wasn’t one the league’s drug testers recognized. The second, according to a source, involved a mishandling of the documentation and delivery of Edelman’s test results.

During the course of the investigation, it was learned that the NFL made mistakes in the manner in which the test results were handled. Edelman had argued that the mishandling of the evidence was one of the reasons he should have been exonerated.

Edelman could end up pursuing an appeal of his case in federal court.

Edelman, 32, missed the entire 2017 season after tearing an ACL in the preseason. With his suspension, Edelman will miss the Patriots’ games against Houston, at Jacksonville, at Detroit and against Miami.



Source link

post

Julian Edelman of New England Patriots to mount vigorous appeal


Julian Edelman‘s appeal of his four-game drug suspension will be heard Monday, and sources say he plans to mount a vigorous defense that questions the NFL’s handling of his case.

ESPN reported earlier this month that the New England Patriots receiver is facing a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

As the MMQB reported a few days later, the substance for which Edelman tested positive wasn’t one the league’s drug testers recognized. That remains one of two key issues at the heart of his appeal.

The other, according to a source, involves a mishandling of the documentation and delivery of Edelman’s test results. During the course of the investigation, it was learned that the NFL made mistakes in the manner in which the test results were handled. Edelman is arguing that the mishandling of the evidence is one of the reasons he should be exonerated.

Edelman, 32, who has been a regular participant in the team’s offseason program, organized team activities and minicamp, missed the entire 2017 season after tearing an ACL during the preseason.

To assist in his defense, Edelman has enlisted outside counsel, specifically Alex Spiro, a New York-based attorney who gained fame in recent years for his work representing NBA players in their legal entanglements.

Given the addition of Spiro to the defense and the recent history between the Patriots and the NFL in the Tom Brady Deflategate matter, it isn’t out of the question that Edelman could end up pursuing an appeal of his case in federal court if the arbitration does not go his way.



Source link

post

Julian Edelman of New England Patriots mounts vigorous appeal


Julian Edelman‘s appeal of his four-game drug suspension was heard Monday, and sources said he planned to mount a vigorous defense that questioned the NFL’s handling of his case.

ESPN reported earlier this month that the New England Patriots receiver is facing a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

As the MMQB reported a few days later, the substance for which Edelman tested positive wasn’t one the league’s drug testers recognized. That remains one of two key issues at the heart of his appeal.

The other, according to a source, involves a mishandling of the documentation and delivery of Edelman’s test results. During the course of the investigation, it was learned that the NFL made mistakes in the manner in which the test results were handled. Edelman is arguing that the mishandling of the evidence is one of the reasons he should be exonerated.

Edelman, 32, who has been a regular participant in the team’s offseason program, organized team activities and minicamp, missed the entire 2017 season after tearing an ACL during the preseason.

To assist in his defense, Edelman has enlisted outside counsel, specifically Alex Spiro, a New York-based attorney who gained fame in recent years for his work representing NBA players in their legal entanglements.

Given the addition of Spiro to the defense and the recent history between the Patriots and the NFL in the Tom Brady Deflategate matter, it isn’t out of the question that Edelman could end up pursuing an appeal of his case in federal court if the arbitration does not go his way.



Source link