Hogan: Edelman and Amendola helping new receivers catch on

Hogan: Edelman and Amendola helping new receivers catch on

FOXBORO -- Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola may be missing mini-camp practices as they recover from offseason surgeries, but behind the scenes they're doing what they can to make a positive impact on the Patriots receiver group.

"They've been great," said Chris Hogan, who signed as a free agent this offseason. "They're in all the rooms with us and helping all the guys, all the new guys, the rookies, me, Nate [Washington], helping in the meeting rooms, asking us questions. If we have any questions, they've been around this offense longer than anyone so those would be the guys to ask, and they've been very helpful."

Edelman had a second foot surgery in April to help repair an injury he suffered in Week 10 of last season. Amendola, who looked as though he was healing well when he participated in Tom Brady's Best Buddies Football Challenge last week, underwent knee and ankle surgeries after last season. The two pass-catchers were among the 13 players missing from the team's first of three mandatory minicamp practices this week.

As a result, there have been extra repetitions to go around for receivers like Hogan, who made a handful of impressive catches while working with Tom Brady. On two separate occasions, Brady found Hogan during scramble drills -- with Brady moving behind the line of scrimmage to extend the play -- which seemed to indicate that the 6-foot-1 receiver and his quarterback were on the same page in those relatively chaotic situations.

Hogan explained that he's still working on picking up all the terminology in the Patriots playbook, but playing for a demanding quarterback has helped keep him sharp.

All three Patriots quarterbacks -- Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett -- have held their receivers to lofty standards this offseason, Hogan insisted.

"I think it stems from working with [offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels]," Hogan said. "Josh has high expectations, and I think that carries over for us. We have high expectations for ourselves as receivers. We hold ourselves accountable to everything that we do here on the field. That's all of us out there -- Tom, Jimmy, Jacoby and all the wideouts."

And the wideouts that aren't out there? They're doing what they can to help, too.

Report: Patriots special teams ace Slater visiting Steelers

Report: Patriots special teams ace Slater visiting Steelers

Patriots seven-time Pro Bowl special teamer Matthew Slater is in Pittsburgh on Saturday making a free-agent visit to the rival Steelers, according to an ESPN's Field Yates.

Slater, who turns 33 in September, has spent the past 10 seasons in a New England. The special teams captain and one of the leaders in the locker room signed a one-year, $1.8 million contract extension in 2016.

The Patriots lost special teamer Johnson Bademosi to the Texans in free agency on Friday but signed special teamers Brandon Bolden and Brandon King just before the free agency period began.

More to come...

Brady tests his 'Brady Bunch' knowledge on NPR

Brady tests his 'Brady Bunch' knowledge on NPR

Tom Brady has been making the media rounds lately with "Good Morning America" and "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" appearances this past week to promote his "Tom vs. Time" series and TB12 Method book. On Saturday, Brady was a phone-in guest on NPR's "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" for their "Not My Job" segment. 

Before a mostly cheering live audience in Hartford and after a discussion of the benefits and drawbacks - mostly drawbacks - of tomatoes and strawberries, plus an assessment of the intelligence of most defensive coordinators, Brady settled in to handle three questions about the world's second-most famous Bradys, the family from the classic sitcom - "The Brady Bunch".

Click here to listen and see how he did.