Julian Edelman missed the final seven-plus games of the regular season with a broken foot and the Patriots offense as a whole seemingly suffered because of it.
But the team's leading receiver over the last couple seasons has been working hard on the practice field and behind the scenes to be ready to return for the postseason. And in his first meeting with the media on Monday, Edelman certainly sounded like a guy ready to suit up on Saturday evening for the Divisional Playoff battle with the Chiefs at Gillette Stadium.
The Boston Globe has Edelman sounding like he'll "dive right in" to the Patriots offense against a stout Kansas City defense. Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy, who always seems to be writing about tomato cans in one form or another, says there are no such easy victories for New England in this latest potential Super Bowl run. The Globe looks at the local-boy-makes-good story of Patriots offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo. For some reason, people seem to care quite a bit that Tom Brady has never tried coffee, while the QB is leery of the Chiefs defense. Meanwhile, Jonathan Freeny's status for the postseason opener remains uncertain.
The Boston Herald breaks down how Brady and Edelman ramped up their two-man workouts last week to get the slot receiver ready for his impending return. Herald columnist Steve Buckley says the Chiefs are low on the hate meter for New England fans. The Herald Patriots notebook has Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia saying very little about their recent opportunities to seek head coaching jobs. The Herald also kicks along Stephen Gostkowski's comments regarding Vikings kicker Blair Walsh's horrific miss of a would-be game-winner in a Wild Card loss to Seattle.
ESPNBoston.com says Brady is at his best when the postseason pressure is dialed up. ESPNBoston.com also has Gostkowski praising his fellow specialists in New England, including the best holder in the league in Ryan Allen. ESPNBoston.com says Edelman was cutting and accelerating early in practice with the media in attendance at Gillette Stadium.
In his introductory press conference as the Lions new GM, former Patroits director of pro personnel Bob Quinn said both McDaniels and Patricia are "ready and willing to be head coaches."
WEEI.com wonders if the Chiefs are overrated. WEEI.com also looks at past Patriots games against Kansas City, including last September's embarrassing loss after which Vince Wilfork said, "They beat us like we stole something." WEEI.com has McDaniels saying the Chiefs are the "best defense we've played." The site also wonders if Chiefs head coach Andy Reid will choke again.
CSNNE.com relays how film study on his trusty iPad has helped Logan Ryan elevate his game in the back end of the Patriots defense. The site also has Edelman saying, "I'm gonna go full throttle regardless." CSNNE.com wonders how and why both McDaniels and Patricia were left off an internal list compiled by the NFL of head-coaching candidates.
NFL.com has the Chiefs ranked three spots ahead of the Patriots in its power rankins as the teams head into Saturday's playoff battle.
Forbes magazine has a look at how "The Patriots dynasty was built."
The Kansas City Star breaks down the Patriots-led run of success enjoyed by "obnoxious" Boston sports fans.
CBSBoston has seven scary stats for the Patriots as they prepare for the Cheifs.