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Tight-lipped team

Patriots have little to say on Edelman as they prepare for Giants

By Michael Vega
Globe Staff / November 3, 2011

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FOXBOROUGH - Though he made himself scarce in the locker room during media availability, embattled Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman returned to the practice field yesterday in preparation for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants.

Edelman, who was arrested early Tuesday morning and charged with indecent assault and battery for allegedly groping a woman at a Boston nightclub, did not make himself available to media.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who declined comment on the Edelman arrest during his weekly teleconference Tuesday, was not much more expansive yesterday, saying, “I don’t have any comment. I think his representatives made their comment on it. I don’t have anything to add to it.’’

Pressed by a TV reporter in a terse exchange about Edelman’s future as a Patriot and whether there was a discipline issue on the team - given that the arrest came a week after tight end Rob Gronkowski posed for a picture with an adult film actress - Belichick replied, “I don’t have anything to add to that.’’

“Nothing at all?’’

“That’s correct,’’ the coach replied.

Asked if he had talked to Edelman, Belichick answered, “Yeah, of course.’’

“Are you satisfied with that?’’

“I don’t have any comment,’’ the coach said. “Those conversations are private between myself and the player, like all other ones we have.’’

Asked if he was disappointed in Edelman, Belichick said, “Right now, I’m getting ready for the Giants. That’s what our football team is here for - to get ready for the Giants. Big game on Sunday.’’

Belichick did not say whether Edelman, who was inactive for the Patriots’ 25-17 loss last Sunday at Pittsburgh, would be available against the Giants.

“We’ll play the best players that we can for the game, like we always do,’’ he said.

Asked to explain how personnel decisions are made with a player on the field when something happens to him off the field, Belichick said, “I think you look at each situation individually and make your decisions based on whatever all the information that you have is, whatever that is. Everyone is different, obviously.’’

Edelman was released on personal recognizance following his arraignment, and is scheduled to return to court in January.

Don Yee, Edelman’s agent, issued a statement Tuesday, saying, “The charges will be fought vigorously within the court system, instead of a rush to judgment elsewhere. We have no further comment beyond that.’’

Patriots owner Robert Kraft made a surprise visit to practice yesterday, followed by NBC’s Lester Holt and a film crew. He walked around and shook hands with several players, though he wasn’t spotted with Edelman during the limited media-access portion of practice.

Tom Brady followed Belichick to the podium and was immediately questioned about Edelman.

Asked if there was any leadership or guidance he could provide to younger players, Brady replied, “We kind of let Coach Belichick handle that.

“He’s our friend,’’ Brady said of Edelman. “We’re trying to get ready to win a football game. That’s kind of what’s on my mind.’’

When pressed on the matter, Brady replied, “You know, it’s not for me to talk about. Honestly, it’s not my situation, it’s someone else’s. I’ve got plenty of things I’ve got to worry about over the course of this week.’’

Running back Kevin Faulk, who saw his first action of the season in Pittsburgh, with six carries for 32 yards after starting the season on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, said there was only one way for the team to handle the distraction.

“Don’t talk about it,’’ said Faulk.

Asked if there was anything he would say to Edelman, Faulk said, “It’s over with now. We’re focusing on the Giants right now.

“It happened. The worst thing that could happen, it happened. Now it’s over. Keep letting everybody else talk about it. Don’t worry about it. You’ve got a game to play on Sunday.

“I was actually in that situation during the offseason a few years ago,’’ said Faulk, referring to his own one-game suspension at the start of the 2008 season after being found in possession of marijuana at a Lil Wayne concert.

“It’s one of those things where you forget about it. It happened already, and you move on.’’

Asked how he deals with off-the-field distractions, Brady smiled and said, “You don’t talk about it or answer any questions when people ask. You just move on.’’

Michael Vega can be reached at vega@globe.com.

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