After team and positional meetings this morning, the Patriots broke their huddle a little after 11 a.m. Friday. A free weekend awaits them now, as they enjoy the perks of the number-one overall seed in the AFC Playoffs.
As you might expect, nearly every player was anxious to get away as quickly as possible, so, only one stopped to talk.
That was jack-of-all-trades Julian Edelman. Naturally, the part-time wide receiver was peppered with questions about offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien and whether his reported departure for Penn State will be a distraction for the Patriots.
"We're still getting ready for the playoffs. We didn't change anything," replied Edelman. "We're going to get back to work here soon and enjoy a couple days off."
Edelman wouldn't say whether O'Brien was present for today's team meeting in Foxborough, but he did describe him as, "Very charismatic and emotional. Knows his stuff. You love playing for him, you want to do well for him. You're always happy to see a guy succeed and get opportunities."
In the meantime, Edelman echoed what most players have said this week, that they'll be playing close attention to Saturday and Sunday's Wild Card games to begin studying their next opponent, whoever that proves to be. The Patriots have spent his week primarily on self-improvement since they don't yet know who they'll be hosting next Saturday.
Edelman – who has become a defensive back along with his receiving and special teams duties – joked that he'll be focusing on "all three sides" of the games.
The Patriots next take the practice field on Tuesday. They'll have three straight days of workouts, a walkthrough next Friday, then the Divisional Round game next Saturday night.
Monday, there are the regular conference calls scheduled with the coaching staff. By then, presumably, we'll know more and potentially have reaction to the situation surrounding O'Brien.