FOXBORO -- Julian Edelman's mouth seems to get as much of a workout as his legs do on game days.
Multiple times a game, it seems, the Patriots receiver can be seen jawing with someone in opposing colors -- players or coaches. In Week 16 he bumped into a Jets staffer on the visitor's sideline at Gillette Stadium. In Week 17, he was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty after trying to head-butt a Dolphins defensive back.
As fiery as Edelman can be on Sundays, he might be even more on edge in practice, according to Patriots corner Logan Ryan.
"Practice might be worse because there’s no refs out there," Ryan said. "Practice gets a little crazy."
In training camp, when members of the media are allowed to watch entire Patriots on-the-field workouts, it not uncommon to see Edelman going all-out when matched up against someone like Ryan or Malcolm Butler or Patrick Chung. Ryan explained that those types of battles extend into the rest of the year.
Particularly when Edelman is involved.
"Julian’s a guy who’s never going to give up, and he’s the ultimate competitor. It’s not about trash talk. It’s just how he plays. He might spin the ball on top of you or something . . . He’s just real disrespectful at times," Ryan joked. "Probably more disrespectful than some of the other ones. I’m happy he’s on my team."
"Does he say that? We have fun," Edelman acknowledged when reporters informed him of Ryan's comments. "Don’t let him say that he doesn’t do anything if thinks he gets a ball or knocks a ball down. Nah, it’s all fun and games out there. Going out and getting to compete against Logan, Malc, [Eric] Rowe, [Jonathan] Jones, [Devin] McCourty, [Duron Harmon]. All those guys.
"It’s a competitive environment and iron sharpens iron, so it’s fun to go out there and compete with them."
Edelman finished with a career-high 1,106 yards this season after playing in all 16 regular-season games for the second time in his career (2013).