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Julian Edelman on his return: ‘The train’s moving and I have to catch up’

08.01.13 at 6:04 pm ET

FOXBORO — The mantra of Patriots training camp is that “the train is moving” so be ready to jump on and keep up. Several players like Tom Brady and Matthew Slater have already made reference to it, and so has coach Bill Belichick.

Thursday, it was Julian Edelman‘s turn as he returned to active duty in practice after being removed from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list earlier in the day.

Edelman broke his foot last Dec. 3 against the Dolphins in Miami and was lost for the season. He had a setback in the offseason as he tried to rehab but on Thursday, he was finally cleared to resume football activity. He was eased into the offense on Thursday, participating in stretches.

Since Edelman injured himself, the Patriots have been forced to overhaul their passing game. One big difference Edelman noticed on Thursday was the pace of practice itself.

“I’ve got a long way to go and I’m excited the process has started. Just in general, the duration of practice, these guys are in shape out here, running around with all this fast-tempo stuff. The train’s moving and I have to catch up.

“It felt good,” he said of the return. “It’s always exciting to get back out there with the teammates and start a new year and get on the field. It was exciting.”

The tempo is the first thing Edelman feels he has to work on after shaking off the rust.

“Right now I’m ultimately focused on just trying to get out here and catch up with the train,” the 27-year-old Edelman said. “The train’s been moving.

“Obviously, it’s new right now, so I definitely I have to get my legs under me, work my way in and try to get a spot,” Edelman said.

While he was off the field, Belichick noted earlier that Edelman attended team meetings and kept his familiarity with the offensive system. Edelman said that was a big help on Thursday.

“This is going to be my fifth year here, so the terminology and all that is kind of my strength right now,” Edelman said. “There is new stuff and I have a long way to improve, but that definitely helped.”

Edelman is competing for a job with no fewer than six rookie receivers in camp. Edelman said Thursday he helps where he can.

“I’ve been in all the meetings and if they ever have a question they ask,” Edelman said. “I try to help them out as much as possible. As far as what do I think, I’m not paid to evaluate talent, I’m more worried about my situation and trying to develop my game.”

Read More: 2013 training camp, Julian Edelman, New England Patriots, nfl



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