Julian Edelman Prepared to Lead by Example in Unprecedented Season

Julian Edelman Prepared to Lead by Example in Unprecedented Season

Patriots’ Nation was astonished by Tom Brady’s decision to leave New England, but his go-to receiver since 2013 had to have taken the news the hardest. Edelman was widely known as a fanboy to the legendary quarterback, and the two grew close as he rose to be a key piece in The Patriots’ second dynasty. Before Brady announced that he’d be moving on from the Patriots after arguably the greatest run in sports history, Edelman openly lobbied for Brady’s return with t-shirt sales (which are still available on his Instagram), social media campaigns, and falsely telling the public that “he’s coming back” during an NCAA men’s basketball broadcast featuring UNC and Syracuse. Unfortunately for Edelman, Brady chose to relocate to Tampa Bay with his other feature weapon, Rob Gronkowski. Of course, Edelman was asked about Brady’s departure during his first media availability since he left.  

“Obviously, it’s a little different scenario, but you have to move on and understand it’s a business”. It is still unknown what exactly transpired over the last few years between Brady, Belichick, and Kraft, but ultimately the future Hall of Famer believed that moving on was the right decision for the rest of his playing days. Regardless of how he feels about the whole situation, Edelman said that the “train keeps moving” without Brady. Edelman’s response to the first question indicated that he was following “The Patriot Way” by focusing on the season ahead. However, the Super Bowl MVP was asked if Brady’s passion for the game rubbed off on him during their 11 seasons together. “Tom has a passion that is a very big one, but he’s moved on and is somewhere else. We’re worried about the passion of the guys on this team right now.” 

When asked about his workouts with Cam Newton, Edelman described his new quarterback as a “specimen”. The change in build and athleticism at the quarterback position will certainly be an adjustment for the entire offense, but Edelman said he’s been impressed with the energy, work ethic, and mindset of the 2015 MVP. He also noted he’s been impressed with the work Stidham and Hoyer have put in during the throwing sessions. Edelman acknowledged the fact that building chemistry with the quarterbacks will take time with reps and experience, but the throwing sessions have helped get a jumpstart in the process with a lack of a true preseason due to COVID restrictions. To help the offense function regardless of who wins the starting quarterback position, Edelman said he will need to ”‘worry about myself and lead by example to keep things moving”. The circumstances of the upcoming season will be brought with unprecedented challenges, but the veteran receiver highlighted the fact that every team is in the same boat, and there’s no room for excuses.  

The 34-year old was also asked about being the “Elder Stateman” of the group, sitting behind Brian Hoyer and Matthew Slater as the third oldest player on the roster and is currently the longest-tenured Patriots’ offensive player. “It's definitely crazy. I can remember like it was yesterday when I was a rookie. Time flies when you’re having fun, and I've had a lot of fun here and hope that fun continues.” 

Feature image via Associated Press.

Written by Brendan Smyth

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