FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman has played a bulked-up offensive role in the early part of the 2012 regular season, earning a start in Week 2. It's a sign of progress for the fourth-year wide receiver, who was asked on Monday if he was surprised by the additional offensive reps.
"I just go into the game doing whatever the coaches ask me to do," he responded. "I prepare each and every day like I'm going to be playing, and if my number is called, my number is called."
When asked specifically if he sensed a change in his role on the team, Edelman said, "I've gotten a little more clock," before spinning the question back to a reporter.
Beyond the increased number of reps, Edelman also has found himself working exclusively on the offensive side of the ball. In 2011, he often was used as a defensive back.
Despite the dedication to one side of the ball, Edelman said his approach remains the same.
"I'm actually dealing with it the same," he said. "You go in on Tuesday, get the game plan, and you do what the coaches ask you to do and you go out there and do it to the best of your ability. That's what I'm doing, that's what I'll continue to do."
He added that he's targeting improvement every day.
"You're never where you want to be. You can always be better, and thats' what I'm striving to do," he said.
Edelman was involved in the play in which tight end Aaron Hernandez was injured, as it appeared Edelman rolled up on Hernandez's right ankle. Edelman says he has since talked to his teammate.
"It's terrible to see one of your better players go down, one of your best players," Edelman said. "It's unfortunate but we're going to have to move on, and hopefully he gets back quick."