By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Julian Edelman is no longer an NFL player, but you can tell he misses it quite a bit. Between his tweets and Instagram posts, it’s clear that Edelman remains a football guy’s football guy who misses grinding through training camp with his teammates.

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And though he’s only following from afar, he’s already identified Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones as a football guy.

On Wednesday night, Edelman came across a tweet from Patriots play-by-play announcer Bob Socci. In the tweet, Socci added a detail from the kerfuffle that broke out between the Giants and Patriots during Wednesday’s joint practice. Socci said that after the dust cleared, Jones joined his offensive linemen on the punishment lap.

Considering we can safely assume that Jones himself wasn’t swinging wildly in the middle of that scrum, the little detail showed that Jones believes punishments affect the whole team, not just individuals.

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And while it may be a small detail, it was enough to get Edelman’s juices flowing a little bit. Edelman quote-tweeted Socci with two simple but potent words: “Football guy.”

That shouldn’t be taken as a knock against Cam Newton, who was absent for the third and final time at Wednesday’s practice due to breaking COVID-19 protocols. Newton and Edelman worked well together last year during their somewhat brief time together, and both players expressed admiration for each other multiple times. This wasn’t Edelman weighing in on the quarterback competition.

It was merely a note of respect, from one Patriot great to the potential long-term solution at QB for the franchise. On what was a huge day for Jones on the practice field, he earned himself one major endorsement off the field for something that didn’t involve a single one of his throws.

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As far as Patriots legends go, and as far as football legends go, Mac Jones couldn’t have done much better than Julian Edelman in finding someone to have in his corner.