FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots’ past and present collided Wednesday. And, not surprisingly, they didn’t want to talk about either.

Reserve wide receiver Julian Edelman’s arrest early Tuesday morning and Super Bowl XLII (that’s 42 for the Roman numeral illiterate) were the hot topics at Gillette Stadium.

And Bill Belichick & Co. did their best to sidestep both.

Edelman, who was not spotted in the Patriots’ locker room (but did practice), was arrested early Tuesday morning and charged with indecent assault and battery for a late-night incident at a nightclub in which he allegedly groped a woman. He pleaded not guilty.

When asked for a comment in his morning press briefing, the always-tight-lipped Belichick said, “I don’t have any comment. I think his representatives made their comment on it, I don’t have anything to add to it.”

The Edelman questioning continued, but Belichick refused to bite.

Tom Brady followed him to the lectern and added little to the discussion: “We kind of let Coach Belichick handle that; (Edelman’s) our friend. We’re trying to get ready to win a football game. That’s kind of what’s on our mind.”

Asked if he should at least talk to Edelman since he’s considered one of the team leaders, Brady answered, “I’ve got plenty of things to worry about over the course of this week. My priorities are to be the best quarterback I can be for this team.”

And that means preparing for the New York Giants Sunday at Gillette.

You might remember the last time these teams played in a game that meant anything. That would have been in Super Bowl XLII, when the mega-underdog Giants stunned the Patriots 17-14 on a late touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Plaxico Burress.

The Patriots, you recall, were trying to become only the second undefeated team in NFL history.

But the Patriots didn’t want to talk about that either. (And truthfully Giants Coach Tom Coughlin said he doesn’t think about it either.)

“Whatever happened or didn’t happen,” said Belichick, “you can’t change it. It’s history. Our focus is on this game.”

Kevin Faulk, the longtime running back who played for the first time this season in the loss at Pittsburgh last week, admitted he has never watched a replay – or even a highlight – of that game.

Standing in his locker, he held out his right hand and mimicked the action of clicking a television remote.

NFL Network classics?

“Click.”

Just surfing the channels and it happens to be on?

“Click.”

Highlights during an NFL commerical?

“Click.”

How about the Saturday Night Live skit when Justin Timberlake is told he can’t chew gum on the Giants’ sideline so he sticks it on the side of a helmet – that would turn out to be David Tyree’s.

“Click.”

Faulk believes, like the others, that there’s nothing to talk about when it comes to that Super Bowl.

“First and foremost, that is not going to have anything to do with the game this weekend,” he stressed. “They won that game. That’s the only thing you can say about it.

“Let’s just talk about us playing them on Sunday. And us trying to play better and win a football game. That’s what we want to do.”

Faulk was the only Patriot to somewhat address the Edelman situation. Maybe because it was familiar to him. In 2008, he was charged with marijuana possession while attending a Lil’ Wayne concert in Lafayette, La.

The best thing Edelman can do, said Faulk, is to move on.

“The worst thing that could happen, it happened,” said Faulk. “Now it’s over. Keep letting everyone else talk about it. Don’t worry about it because you’ve got a game to play on Sunday.”

And because that’s the Patriot Way.

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH