FOXBORO, Mass. — As much as NFL players like getting back on the football field, training camp can be a grind, especially in New England, where expectations always are sky high with the Patriots.

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, now in his ninth training camp, was asked Thursday about the toughest and most enjoyable parts of returning to practice.

“Seeing the fellas, seeing what this team is going to be made out of, seeing the new guys, seeing the old guys,” Edelman said. “That’s always the funnest part, or the most fun.”

And the most difficult?

“The toughest part is probably having to stay in hotels and all of the meetings,” Edelman said. “It’s a pretty rigorous schedule. It’s a meeting ‘here,’ meeting ‘there,’ meeting, practice, meeting, meeting, meeting. Those are always tough, but it makes us better.”

The Patriots opened camp Thursday, and their Week 1 matchup isn’t until Sept. 7. So, players have plenty of more meetings to look forward to before the 2017 season begins.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images