BOSTON (CBS) – The New England Patriots will play their first game of the 2013 season on Friday — albeit a preseason tilt — but first they have a few joint practices to get out of the way.
The Patriots put in a final practice at Gillette Stadium on Monday, and now head to Philadelphia where they’ll hold a joint practice with the Eagles on Tuesday and Wednesday before taking the field for their preseason opener on Friday.
Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh and Zolak after Monday’s session, and said it will be nice to run some plays against someone other than his teammates.
“Any time you get to go out there with a different team it’s always a little more exiting,” Edelman said of the joint practice sessions. “You’ve been pounding on these guys in OTAs, Training Camp, now you get to go out there and see someone else, try your stuff on guys who haven’t seen it. We’ll go out there and probably work on situational stuff, and that’s when you get better at football instead of just running plays against each other.”
Edelman just returned to practice last week after spending the beginning of camp on the PUP list while recovering from offseason foot surgery. The receiver said he feels good after his first few days of camp, and the receiving corp as a whole is coming together nicely despite all the new faces catching passes from Tom Brady.
“It’s pretty much different every year. We have a lot of new guys now, but we still have Tom who has been here for a while,” said Edelman. “The pace isn’t any slower; guys are just working longer and staying longer, trying to get the playbook down.”
Entering his fifth NFL season, Edelman is the veteran among the Patriots receivers. But he hasn’t been paying attention to any “titles” associated with players so far — just on making sure he is ready to go when his number is called.
“I haven’t really thought of that. I’ve been in for a few days now just focused on getting out there and getting my body acclimated to playing football; getting my mental game in and trying to become a better football player,” said Edelman. “I’m not necessarily thinking of my role, just worried about getting out there and catching up with this train.”