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Roche: Julian Edelman's Return Offers Glimpse Of How Powerful Patriots Offense Can Be

FOXBORO (CBS) -- The Patriots took to the Gillette Stadium practice fields on Monday morning as they prepare for a big week here in Foxboro. The Pats were in shorts and shells for practice as they get ready to ramp things up for when the Saints come to town.

Here are some quick thoughts and observations from Monday's session.

--On the injury front, Julian Edelman took another step Monday as he joined his teammates on the field during 11 vs 11 and other drills and situations. Edelman, who came off the PUP list on Sunday looked real good in the situations he took part in, as he caught passes from Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo. On one particular two-minute drill, Edelman made a nice TD catch over second-year cornerback Justin Coleman. After the catch, Edelman was yapping at Coleman and the defense, a sign that he's feeling good.

One final thought, as the Pats get Edelman back to go with Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett, Chris Hogan and others, it makes you realize just how extremely difficult this offense will be to cover when everyone's healthy.

--Chris Hogan continues to impress as well. He made a nice catch in red zone situations Monday. Also impressive was tight end A.J. Derby, the second year player from Arkansas. Derby made a tough catch while battling Patrick Chung on a throw from Brady. Derby made a few Sunday too. You wonder which tight end(s) -- if any -- will make the final roster beyond Gronk and Bennett. Derby, Steve Scheu, Bryce Williams, Bear Pascoe and Clay Harbor lead a good group with glimpses so far of fine play from Derby, Williams, and Harbor. By the way, Harbor also came of the PUP list Sunday.

--It was good to see center Bryan Stork making his way back to the field from a reported concussion he suffered. Stork was on the back of a practice field Sunday and did a little bit more Monday. He's had multiple concussions over his collegiate and professional career, and there has to be a concern as to just how many, if any, more he can take.

--Also of significance, safety Duron Harmon had his red jersey removed, so he's a full "go" now. Harmon is part of a deep and talented secondary and safety group. I've said this before, but when all is said and done, the Patriots will be forced to say goodbye to some pretty talented players on cut-down days.

--The more I watch him, the more I like offensive lineman Ted Karras. The rookie from Illinois has versatility and comes from good bloodlines. Keep an eye on him throughout the preseason.

--It's hard not to root for running back Tyler Gaffney. The former Stanford star has suffered season-ending injuries in training camp each of the past two seasons. He's received a lot of reps so far in camp and is hoping to prove that he can play on the NFL level.

--Do yourself a favor and if you can, make your way to one of the joint practices against the Saints (this week) or Bears (next week). Lots of good situational football with good energy. The coaches and players get a lot out if it too.

--Finally, don't forget that the first preseason game is slated for Thursday vs New Orleans at Gillette Stadium. You can watch the game on WBZ-TV Channel 4 at 7:30 p.m. with yours truly, Christian Fauria, Matt Chatham, Andy Hart, Paul Perillo, and Steve Burton. We'll begin our coverage with Patriots Gameday at 7 p.m.

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