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."