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Edelman tries to prove he’s a “real defensive back”

Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots Getty Images

With a few days to think about it, Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham backtracked from his original derisive statements about Patriots cornerback/wide receiver Julian Edelman.

But Manningham didn’t backtrack too far.

“We know he’s a great player, but we want to go out and do what we have to do to win. No matter what it takes. He plays wide receiver. He’s not a real defensive back,” Manningham said. “Did he get drafted as a defensive back? We have a little bond going on knowing that we can beat somebody. We’re confident. I hope he’s out there.”

Edelman may not be a real defensive back, but he played one in college. And he knows what bothers offensive players. He’s not afraid to be physical.

“He’s a hell of a football player,” Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said Tuesday. “He looks like a guy that has been on the offensive side and had people grab and hold him. And now he’s now trying to reverse the process. He looks like a good defensive back.”

The Patriots believe Edelman succeeds because he likes to mix it up. Deion Branch said he’s been lobbying for his own defensive snaps for weeks, but the coaches won’t bite.

“He loves to cover me and Wes,” Branch said. “That’s the highlight of his practice. Julian is one of those guys that nags you a lot. As a receiver, you hate that. That’s his style. He’s an aggressive guy.”

“I like Julian. He’s a beast. He has that mentality, that beast mode in him,” safety Patrick Chung said. “He’s tough, he’s fast, he’s physical. I have no worries about Julian. He’s good.”

No matter what happens Sunday, it’s remarkable Edelman can play defense at such a high level considering the demands of the position. He’s playing offense, defense, and special teams on the game’s biggest stage.

“You gotta understand,” Branch said. “He’s in the offensive meeting room, then the defensive meeting room. So he’s missing half of what they say in the defensive meeting room because he’s with us.”

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47 Responses to “Edelman tries to prove he’s a “real defensive back””
  1. nemyx1 says: Jan 31, 2012 5:59 PM

    I always thought he was a “Wes Welker” in waiting…

  2. blackstonevalleykettlebells says: Jan 31, 2012 5:59 PM

    He can’t do any worse than Pro Bowler? Carlos Rogers trying to cover Victor Cruz.

  3. ampats says: Jan 31, 2012 6:11 PM

    Edelman will return a Pick6 as the Patriots win their 4th Super Bowl

  4. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Jan 31, 2012 6:17 PM

    I said when that WR made those idiotic comments “careful what you wish for”. Anyone that is talented to play both ways(not that there is anything wrong with that) should get some respect. I hope Edelman shuts him down. That wouldn’t be crow you’re eating Manningham…

  5. tombradyallday says: Jan 31, 2012 6:17 PM

    hopefully victor cruz doesnt prove him wrong

  6. tdk24 says: Jan 31, 2012 6:17 PM

    Edelman will be exposed.

  7. deepbacksidedig says: Jan 31, 2012 6:19 PM

    Lot of pressure on the kid.
    Great athlete, surprisingly hard hitter.
    Hope Mario finds this out.
    Pats need a big game out of him,
    love to see him break one on a kick,
    or a blessed pick 6.

  8. profootballwalk says: Jan 31, 2012 6:21 PM

    Troy Brown wasn’t drafted as a DB either, but he still managed to strip Marlon McCree of the Chargers and basically win a playoff game for the Patriots. One of the great defensive plays I’ve seen in decades.

  9. nowillrepeat says: Jan 31, 2012 6:22 PM

    If you have to tell people you are, you usually arent

  10. beeronthefridge says: Jan 31, 2012 6:22 PM

    Edelman could not even cover brandon jacobs.

  11. 8man says: Jan 31, 2012 6:23 PM

    I would be just crazy to see him score a TD, make a pick and then have some serious return yardage.

    “Your 2012 Super Bowl MVP, with a touchdown, interception and 175 combined yards, Julian Edelman.” How crazy would that be?

  12. mike83ri says: Jan 31, 2012 6:26 PM

    “He looks like a guy that has been on the offensive side and had people grab and hold him. And now he’s now trying to reverse the process. He looks like a good defensive back.”

    “Julian is one of those guys that nags you a lot. As a receiver, you hate that. That’s his style. He’s an aggressive guy.”

    Let the nightclub groping jokes begin.

    As a side note, he was a QB in college and he’s been pretty successful as a WR given his background. I wouldn’t rule an athlete out just because he isn’t playing his natural position. When Troy Brown played CB for the Pats, he led the team in interceptions.

    Pick your poison, he may not be quite as good in coverage as most CBs, but he has much better hands.

  13. carlsaganist says: Jan 31, 2012 6:33 PM

    actually he was the starting QB at Kent state. he was drafted ahead of Hoyer. I think he knows enough about WR and QB to be an effective CB. considering he knows the tendencies of both positions. He’s no Charles Woodson, but he gets the job done.

  14. jakek2 says: Jan 31, 2012 6:38 PM

    The more I think about this game, the more I think that BB better dust off that 90′ game plan the Giants used against the Bills and use it on Sunday. If NE can’t run the ball to keep Eli and his numerous dangerous targets off the field, tire out the pass rush and keep the Giants defense honest, even the great Tom Brady will have a hard time winning this game on his own.

  15. bigkatt says: Jan 31, 2012 6:49 PM

    The only way Edleman can cover Vic Cruz is if he turns into a blanket by Sunday

  16. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Jan 31, 2012 7:00 PM

    Well there is a difference covering Cruz and Manningham. Big difference.

  17. sschmiggles says: Jan 31, 2012 7:01 PM

    sorry giants fans but there’s no way he’s lining up on victor cruz in man coverage. cruz is basically the #1 so it will be mccourty or arrignton, possibly molden. all of them except arrington suck anyway, so they either play the games of their lives or the pats get a good rush, which they are certainly capable of.

    edelman might get manningham since he’s very solid at jamming receivers on the line and manningham is the same size.

    if he gets cruz, you know something went wrong with the play call. and then he will get burned. but good enough to cover a #4 receiver on the regular.

  18. shea801 says: Jan 31, 2012 7:07 PM

    As has been said, any guy who can play both ways is a going to be a good player any way you look at it. Is he a top 10 corner? No, but I’m willing to bet a guy with this much pressure, and the mentality of a person who pushes himself to the limit, he’ll be ready to play as well as anyone this Sunday.

    That being said, the match-ups have all the makings of it being he who is exploited for a blown coverage late in the forth with the game on the line. You know Eli will be looking for it….

  19. bosfaninva says: Jan 31, 2012 7:09 PM

    Hey Manningham, 3rd WRs usually don’t run their pieholes about 5th DBs.

  20. stampnhawk says: Jan 31, 2012 7:17 PM

    After getting burned by Boldin a few times against BAL on big plays, especially the last drive where Boldin took it to the redzone on that final drive, he would’ve been singled out as the villain and a big reason why the Pats lost it at the end. I couldn’t believe Belichek would put him on Boldin.

    If I’m a Giants receiver, I keep my mouth shut and hope he lines up against me.

    He may have the speed and hands but he doesn’t have the years of DB back training and split second decision making in order to take the right angle or make the right read or interrupt the pattern suddenly…and before you know it, the receiver has separation from him and room to run.

  21. rexismybff says: Jan 31, 2012 7:24 PM

    If Edelman can’t cover Manningham, he sure can grope him on the dance floor.

  22. otistaylor89 says: Jan 31, 2012 7:24 PM

    He actually was the Pats best slot DB this, IMHO. I don’t know what happened on that last drive against BALT, but he was very effective in every other game he played.

  23. TheWizard says: Jan 31, 2012 7:24 PM

    If you have to tell people you are, you usually arent

    Where / when did he?

  24. rc33 says: Jan 31, 2012 7:43 PM

    Playing 3 ways he’s definitely gonna get a chance to impact the game. Got to give him credit, he’s had a lot on his plate these past few Sundays. He knows he’ll get picked on, with most of the nation watching, no less.
    They’ll get high pick Ras-I Dowling back next year. I imagine this will be Edelman’s last game at CB.

  25. tiffpats4eva says: Jan 31, 2012 8:13 PM

    I like that the Giants have underestimated him.

    I bet Belichick likes it too.

  26. larj12 says: Jan 31, 2012 8:20 PM

    Julian Edelman wasn’t even drafted as a receiver, he was an option quarterback at Kent State. They converted him to a receiver. He’s not great in that role, he is serviceable. He’s an athlete, he fits that short agile build that can adapted to many roles. He’s a jack of all trades. He has held his own as an emergency slot corner. Yes he’s been beat bad at times, but he’s a hard worker and will not lie down easily. In fact he’s probably one of the surest tacklers in the Patriots backfield. Certainly better than former 1st round pick and Patriot Brandon Merriweather. He’ll be fired up for this game. Biggest of his life, from a reasonably low profile school and devied his unlikely prospects as an NFL Pro.

  27. restonraven says: Jan 31, 2012 8:45 PM

    At the end of the AFC Championship, Edelman was covering Boldin – and Anquan was abusing him. I wish they had been targeting Anquan in the red zone instead of Lee Evans. Edelman could not cover Boldin.

    I think as a group right now that Manning, Nicks, Cruz & Manningham are better than Flacco, Smith, Evans & Boldin. If Julian is out there on the artificial turf in Indy trying to cover any of the Giants WR trio – Manning is going to torch him a whole lot worse than Flacco & Boldin were doing.

    I dont see this as a close game. Gmen 32-17.

  28. der6495 says: Jan 31, 2012 8:51 PM

    Edelman’s 1st INT will be in the Super Bowl covering Manningham.

  29. fittytuckin says: Jan 31, 2012 9:22 PM

    Vanilla Ice is to rap, what Julian Edelman is to playing corner.

  30. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 31, 2012 9:22 PM

    Everyone is acting like Boldin is some crap receiver that anybody could cover. He’s a very very good receiver who is large, strong and athletic. A lot of DBs have trouble covering him though he had an off year in 2011.

  31. rentdue says: Jan 31, 2012 9:31 PM

    Go pats

  32. lanman11 says: Jan 31, 2012 9:37 PM

    We already had the Giants D line lobbying for penalties when Osi spoke about Matt Light doing something he couldn;t quite figure out to “get under his skin”, and now we have this from Kevin Gilbride:

    “He’s a hell of a football player,” Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said Tuesday. “He looks like a guy that has been on the offensive side and had people grab and hold him. And now he’s now trying to reverse the process. He looks like a good defensive back.”

    A coach lobbying for penalties a week before a game.

    We already know Giant coaches game plan to injure players and they signal players from the sideline to flop to the turf and fake injuries for free time outs (but it works better when only one player flops!). Now we have this.

    It gets worse for the Giants every day.

  33. krppr says: Jan 31, 2012 10:36 PM

    I don’t understand how you Pats fans think Manningham is not a great WR. One of you called him a #4 WR…really? If Manningham was on the Pats he would be their clear cut #1 and have over 1000 yards easy. He had knee trouble all year and, I don’t know if you noticed but the two other wide receivers on his team are amazing. So, just because he is the Giants #3 behind Nicks and Cruz does not mean he is an average wide receiver. I tell you right now I have no probelm with Edelman covering him. Any good WR can beat any good DB any day…and I think Manningham is better at WR than Edelman is at DB. JMO

  34. j0esixpack says: Jan 31, 2012 10:46 PM

    Someone should ask Troy Brown if he thinks its possible for a converted WR to play DB in the Super Bowl…

    … and win.

  35. dgbk says: Jan 31, 2012 10:50 PM

    manningham talks sooooo much to be the teams 3rd best wideout… granted he will be number 2 on plenty of teams he still not that good to constantly yap yap yap …. even if julian is exposed wont be by 82

  36. dienavinjohnson says: Jan 31, 2012 11:13 PM

    “krppr says:
    Jan 31, 2012 10:36 PM
    I don’t understand how you Pats fans think Manningham is not a great WR. One of you called him a #4 WR…really? If Manningham was on the Pats he would be their clear cut #1 and have over 1000 yards easy.”

    Are you saying that Manningham is better than Wes Welker? You’re a fool.

  37. ernst90 says: Jan 31, 2012 11:32 PM

    Manningham is a great reciever is almost as absurd as saying eli manning is an elite quarterback…Elite quarterbacks complete better than 61 percent of their passes and win more than 8 games during the season…Also Eli’s career rating is only 82.1 with a 58.4 percent completion rating and in this day and age when it’s a pass first league there’s nothing elite about that…Eli is a subpar quarterback with good recievers and a good coach. It’s funny that people even put Eli in the same category with Brady, Rodgers, Peyton, Brees and hell i’d take Tony Romo all day over Eli Manning!

  38. nfl1818 says: Jan 31, 2012 11:49 PM

    Pats fan – love the guy but NE secondary vs Manning and NY’s big 3 is the biggest mismatch of the game. Thankfully many players, units and decisions factor in. Pats have plenty of advantages themselves. I give the edge to NY but the overwhelming press and confidence around NY suggests its too good to be true. They ARE better and healthier today, but did lose 7 games. Also, while Manning will drive to the 20 with ease, the red zone will be a question mark. Bill has 2 weeks to prepare for that.

  39. icantadd says: Feb 1, 2012 12:53 AM

    profootballwalk says:Jan 31, 2012 6:21 PM

    Troy Brown wasn’t drafted as a DB either, but he still managed to strip Marlon McCree of the Chargers and basically win a playoff game for the Patriots. One of the great defensive plays I’ve seen in decades.
    ——————————————————————————————————

    WHY DID YOU HAVE TO BRING THAT UP AND REMIND EVERY SAN DIEGO FAN?!

  40. stevemo says: Feb 1, 2012 12:55 AM

    ernst90 says: Jan 31, 2012 11:32 PM

    Manningham is a great reciever is almost as absurd as saying eli manning is an elite quarterback…Elite quarterbacks complete better than 61 percent of their passes and win more than 8 games during the season…Also Eli’s career rating is only 82.1 with a 58.4 percent completion rating and in this day and age when it’s a pass first league there’s nothing elite about that…Eli is a subpar quarterback with good recievers and a good coach. It’s funny that people even put Eli in the same category with Brady, Rodgers, Peyton, Brees and hell i’d take Tony Romo all day over Eli Manning!

    —————

    LOL @ at your complete disregard for the fact that this guy wins in the playoffs. Rodgers, Brees, and Romo has some sweet stats this year.

    Too bad they’re sitting at home, Romo has never won a playoff game (I think), and Rodgers hasn’t come back and won a game in the 4th quarter since what, 2009?

  41. cmack15 says: Feb 1, 2012 1:01 AM

    He is a rapist and should have been suspended for 6 games.

    Arrested and charged.

    Wait, What? You mean the charges were dropped?

    Funny, BR was never charged, booked or arraigned and he got 6 which got cut down to 4.

    GODell is a Hypocrite.

  42. CKL says: Feb 1, 2012 1:53 AM

    Victor Cruz had a couple of skeptical comments on Edelman on NFLTA as well. “He’s ok but you can tell he’s uncomfortable playing that position”.

    Honestly, as much as Fredex was a waste of air and a pathetic WR, even he didn’t smacktalk the Pats no name CBs quite like this before SB 39. And they were the likes of Randall Gay (who wasn’t bad but was a UDFA), the aforementioned Troy B, Hank Poteat, and…Earthwind Moreland. The group they have now reminds me of those guys. No one but Pats fans could pick any of them out of a lineup but they didn’t embarrass themselves too often either.

    Not one Pats fan in the ENTIRE UNIVERSE, I guarantee, thinks Edelman can shut anyone down as a CB. We’re just happy to see him tackling and staying with his assignments after years of Meriweather @ safety and Samuel @ CB.

  43. cubsisles72 says: Feb 1, 2012 5:13 AM

    Great hands… Ask the Betty from the club.

  44. rcb0424 says: Feb 1, 2012 7:27 AM

    As a Giants fan I think this is a smoke screen. Maybe to get the safety to help over the top with him. I think we go straight after who ever is on Nicks and the Pats #1 DB from the start. We went straight after every team we have faced. The plan will be the same with Mario. He’s the #3 but pick our spots with him downfield and in the redzone. It’s not broke so there is no reason to fix it.

  45. hineswardcriesafterfumbling says: Feb 1, 2012 8:44 AM

    I haven’t seen a whole lot of Edelman play, but during the AFC championship game, I thought he was mediocre at best in all three phases. He’s a homeless man’s Wes Welker. He was average in the passing game, they tried him in the running game to no success, he dances around and runs backward like he’s Dante Hall on punt returns, and Anquan Boldin abused him while doing his DB act.

    Throw in the fact that the only thing he could do to Boldin was forearm him in the back of the head, and his hands get all Big Benny while in the club and I tend to dislike the guy.

  46. howiegtr says: Feb 1, 2012 9:18 AM

    cubsisles72 says:
    Feb 1, 2012 5:13 AM
    Great hands… Ask the Betty from the club.

    ————————————————–
    She was a gold digger.Club security video shows Edelman and the woman briefly touching hands. Upon seeing the evidence, the case was dropped.

  47. krppr says: Feb 7, 2012 10:26 PM

    You guys still feel like Manningham is a #4 WR?
    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

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