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Patriots.com News Blitz - 11/23/2011

Michael Vega of the Boston Globe writes about the long road Julian Edelman has faced from being a distraction to the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. After a now well known incident, many were calling for Edelman to be released. Since that time Edelman has stepped up in two areas, special teams and defense. On defense, Edelman has two tackles and drew a big holding against the much bigger Leonard Pope from Kansas City. On special teams, Edelman was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week following his 72-yard punt return for a touchdown on Monday night. With the touchdown Edelman becomes just the fourth player in Patriots history with multiple punt return touchdowns, joining Troy Brown (3), Irving Fryar (2) and Mike Haynes (2).

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald writes about the trust that has developed between Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. The second-year tight end hauled in 4 catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns on Monday and became the fastest tight end to reach 20 career touchdown catches (in just 26 games). According to Coach Bill Belichick, "The great thing about Gronk is he took a couple of plays that had a few yards to them but turned them into big plays with his ability to break tackles there in the secondary and run through people."

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com charts the recent trend of seeing rookie first round draft pick Nate Solder at tight end. Solder played 20 snaps at tight end on Monday night and the Patriots were very successful with the rookie in the role. When Solder was in at tight end for pass plays, Tom Brady went five for six for 105 yards and two touchdowns. When solder was in on runs the Patriots ran 14 times for 62 yards.

Tim Britton of the Providence Journal writes about how Wes Welker was able to produce in Monday night's game even though he only caught two passes. Welker received praise for his blocking in both the run game and on special teams. Welker's block was one of the key blocks that sprung Julian Edelman on his 72-yard punt return touchdown. "For Wes, [it was] quiet as it relates to catches. Obviously he only had two catches, but he does so many other things that help our offense," offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien said. "He was blocking extremely well and helping us in the running game."

Jeff Howe of NESN.com writes about multiple Patriots topics including a recent comment from Bill Belichick on Rob Gronkowski's effort. "It's like he's drilling for oil," said Belichick after the Gronkowski's big night.

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