BOSTON -- Julian Edelman wasn't at Children's Hospital Boston to talk about football on National Pancake Day. He was there to decorate flapjacks for sick kids like Paige.
Paige is shy; her parents did most of the talking to Jerod Mayo, Kevin Faulk, and Edelman at the Patriots' appearance. The little girl nestled further into her hospital bed as the pros spoke, surrendering a smile only when Edelman fetched her a small teddy bear.
"We watched you guys in the Super Bowl!" Paige's mother gushed.
"Probably should have switched to cartoons . . ." Edelman said wryly.
Of course, there's no avoiding football for a football player. But his sense of humor was fresh all morning. Even with reporters.
"I didn't go to the Combine. I wasn't good enough for the Combine," the former Kent State quarterback grinned.
Former quarterback. Special teamer. Sometimes receiver. Sometimes cornerback. Labeling Edelman has become an ever-changing exercise over the last three years. He got significant snaps as a defensive back last season, splitting his time with both offense and defense.
His versatility adds an air of intrigue to this offseason.
"I'll be a little bit everywhere," Edelman said. "Obviously going to hit it hard, study the film hard on what I have to prepare, take the coaching from the coaches and go from there. I'm excited for the opportunity to get better this offseason and I'm going to take advantage of it.
"I haven't really gone over everything. I've just been trying to wind down and mentally get away from everything. But I'll be discussing that with my coaches soon."
Edelman and Chad Ochocinco are the only two receivers under contract for 2012. That number will stand pat if, as common sense would suggest, Ochocinco gets cut and Wes Welker is tied down. That fact, and April's NFL Draft, will impact Edelman somehow.
Just not yet. For the moment, he seems content to decompress.
"I did design a mean pancake," he said. "Little bear nose, whip cream ears. I think the kids really enjoyed it."