Edelman so far trying to make it as a receiver

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Edelman so far trying to make it as a receiver

FOXBORO -- After six OTA sessions, Julian Edelman hasn't worked one minute with the defense. He said as much on Thursday after a few hours worth of work.

This is a player who split snaps evenly -- 27 all -- as a receiver and defensive back in last year's AFC Championship game. But any further probing about whether Edelman will be lugging around one playbook or two in 2012 was deferred.

"You'd have to ask Coach Belichick on that. I'm pretty sure that's his cup of tea," he said.

"All I can do is just worry on trying to learn the receiver position and whatever they want me to do on every other phase of the game."

Edelman is currently one of 11 learning the Patriots receiver position.

And this year, it's not just the likes of Tiquan Underwood and Chad Ochocinco he has to contend with. In addition to two rookie unknowns, the Patriots brought in a few guys with long resumes -- Jabar Gaffney, Brandon Lloyd, and Donte' Stallworth.

"That's part of this business; every year I've been here there's been pretty high competition at every position," Edelman said. "I think it makes guys better when you're competing. If you're afraid to compete here, I'm pretty sure you're going to be gone."

His approach is constructive.

"They're vets; they've been proven and they know what they're doing. It's great to learn from them and see how they do things. And it's great to just come in and see how we can become a cohesive unit and everything.

"It's definitely fun to watch and learn. I was a Brandon Lloyd fan when he was a 49er back when I was a little kid." At that, a smile spread over Edelman's face. "That tells you how many years he's been around."

Where he lacks experience, he has versatility -- and not just with defense. Edelman is a valuable special teamer, working on both kick and punt return teams.

Great for a player whose coach preaches, "The more you can do," right?

Edelman isn't banking on it.

"It's a receiver competition, I don't know how being a punt returner has to do with that. I'm just trying to become a better receiver right now."

Jets lose, Patriots guaranteed 1st place in AFC East when Brady returns

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Jets lose, Patriots guaranteed 1st place in AFC East when Brady returns

When Tom Brady returns to the Patriots following his four-game suspension, his team will be in sole possession of first place in the AFC East.

That became the reality as soon as the Jets fell to the Chiefs in Kansas City on Sunday, 24-3. The Jets committed eight turnovers in the loss to fall to 1-2. 

The Bills and Dolphins each won their first games of the season on Sunday, taking down the Cardinals and Browns, respectively. 

With the Patriots record at 3-0 following their win over the Texans on Thursday night, and with all three of their AFC East rivals sitting on just one win thus far, even if Bill Belichick's club was to fall to Rex Ryan and the Bills in Week 4, it would still be alone atop the division.

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Surely the Patriots would like to have a zero in the loss column when Brady returns. Regardless, to be in first place when Brady's Deflategate punishment is finished -- and having achieved that mark with two different starting quarterbacks -- has to be a point of pride for the organization . . . and a source of agita for those who doled out the punishment.

Rex Ryan: 'If Belichick's playing quarterback, we're coming after him'

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Rex Ryan: 'If Belichick's playing quarterback, we're coming after him'

Must be Bills week. 

After Rex Ryan's club put together an impressive win at home over the Cardinals, 33-18, it wasn't long before the Bills coach was yapping about the Patriots and their coach Bill Belichick.

Ryan was asked about the quarterback situation in New England since both Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett are dealing with injuries at the moment. Who might the Bills see when they visit Gillette Stadium?

"Look, I can sit back and say I don’t care who plays quarterback, cuz I know (Tom) Brady ain’t," he said. "I don’t care who plays quarterback; Steve Grogan can play quarterback. If Belichick’s playing quarterback, we’re coming after him. I promise you that."

There's no indication yet as to whether or not Garoppolo or Brissett will be unavailable for Week 4. When asked about his level of concern when it came to his quarterbacks, Belichick didn't say much during a conference call on Sunday

Ryan, like the rest of us, will probably have to wait for the Patriots to release an injury report before he learns about the status of either young passer. And until then, he'll have to prepare for both.