Patriots

Julian Edelman pumped for Patriots camp to begin: 'School's back in session'

Julian Edelman pumped for Patriots camp to begin: 'School's back in session'

Julian Edelman warmed up for training camp Saturday by putting on a clinic in near 100-degree heat.

The Patriots wide receiver helped conduct his football clinic for about 600 boys and girls at Lincoln-Sudbury High School about 40 minutes north of Foxboro. The Super Bowl MVP compared Pats camp, which begins Thursday at Gillette Stadium, to school being back in session.

“I’m extremely excited for the new year. This is a new team. Training camp coming up, this is kind of like when school’s back in session," Edelman told reporters. "We had summer break, [now] you get to see all the fellas. This is where you learn your team and learn each other and become accountable for each other and work hard together and create a consistency together."

The undisputed veteran of a Patriots receiving corps that is short on big names beside himself, Edelman, 33, is ready to mentor young receivers, such as first-round pick N'Keal Harry. 

“This is like the beginning shape form of your team, these next few weeks. It’s a crucial point. We put a lot of hard work in during the spring, and the next step to playing other teams, so it’s definitely exciting.”

With tight end Rob Gronkowski retired, Edelman takes center stage as Tom Brady's favorite target. He led all Pats receivers with 850 yards in the regular season despite an NFL-imposed PED suspension that kept him out of the first four games. His 10-catch, 141-yard performance against the Rams in Super Bowl 53 earned him game MVP honors.

Starting Thursday, he'll lead a receiver group that includes few familiar names: Phillip Dorsett returns, Braxton Berrios is back from the practice squad, Harry is a top draft pick and free-agent signees Demaryius Thomas, Dontrelle Inman and Maurice Harris are among those who've been added. 

NFL odds: How Patriots' and Ravens' wins impacted latest Super Bowl betting lines

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USA TODAY Sports

NFL odds: How Patriots' and Ravens' wins impacted latest Super Bowl betting lines

The New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens both won Sunday as the race for the AFC's No. 1 seed intensified, but how did these victories impact the latest Super Bowl LIV odds?

The Patriots, who defeated the Philadelphia Eagles on the road to improve to 9-1 atop the AFC standings, remain the favorite in the updated odds posted Monday at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. The Ravens' odds have increased after a 41-7 blowout win over a good Houston Texans team. Baltimore is 8-2 and just one game behind New England for first place in the conference.

The NFC is really interesting because five teams have an 8-3 record or better. The New Orleans Saints are the new favorites to win the conference, leapfrogging the San Francisco 49ers. The Saints bounced back in Week 11 with a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to improve to 8-2. The 49ers also recovered from a Week 10 loss to defeat the Arizona Cardinals. San Francisco is an NFC-best 9-1, but oddsmakers still aren't convinced Jimmy Garoppolo and Co. are the best team in the conference.

Here are the latest Super Bowl betting lines from the Westgate:

The Seattle Seahawks still are a great bet at 16-1. They beat the 49ers on the road in Week 10 and enjoyed a much-needed bye in Week 11. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is the leading candidate for NFL MVP, and the defense has steadily improved throughout the season. Let's not forget the Seahawks have a talented and experienced coaching staff, too.

The Green Bay Packers at 12-1 are a nice bet as well. Any team led by elite quarterback Aaron Rodgers has a chance to win in the playoffs, and Green Bay's defense is much-improved from 2018. The Dallas Cowboys are 20-1 as NFC East leaders, and they have a huge opportunity to send a statement to the rest of the NFL on Sunday with a Week 12 matchup versus the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. An upset victory over the Patriots likely would cause a huge shift in the Cowboys' Super Bowl odds, so grab Dallas now if you like its chances in January.

Updated look at NFL playoff picture entering Week 12>>>

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Tom Brady subtly jabs Eagles fans who continue to hate Patriots QB

Tom Brady subtly jabs Eagles fans who continue to hate Patriots QB

The New England Patriots don't come to Philadelphia very often, so Eagles fans had to get their money's worth in unloading on Tom Brady.

The denizens of Lincoln Financial Field welcomed Brady with a chorus of boos ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl LII rematch, while a few got even more creative: According to WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show," one Eagles fan showed up Sunday wearing a "Breathe If You Hate Tom Brady" T-shirt.

Brady seemed to welcome the hate, though.

"That's amazing. I love that," Brady said on "The Greg Hill Show" on Monday when told about the T-shirt. "We've got to track one of those down. I'm sure that's probably not the only city where they feel that way."

But the 42-year-old was a bit curious as to why Eagles fans directed so much anger toward him.

After all, didn't they get the last laugh when Philly beat New England in Super Bowl LII?

"In Philly, you'd think after that win a few years ago against us they wouldn't have that same animosity," Brady said. "Normally when you beat a team in the Super Bowl, you feel like -- you appreciate it. You're like, 'Oh man, that was cool, we beat you guys.'

"But I guess not."

This was a radio interview, but we're guessing Brady said that last part with a devious smile, as he clearly enjoys the fact that he still has real estate in Eagles fans' heads even after losing to Philly on the game's biggest stage.

Brady is used to everyone hating him at this point in his career, though. When asked if his Patriots, who are 9-1 after Sunday's 17-10 win over the Eagles, have replaced the Dallas Cowboys as "America's Team," Brady responded:

"I think we have six states that cheer for us."

To state the obvious, Pennsylvania isn't on that list -- and never will be as long as Brady is around.

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