Rob Gronkowski on Julian Edelman’s absence: He’s not a replaceable player

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A few hours from now we begin finding out how much the Patriots miss receiver Julian Edelman. New England always seems to find a way to overcome injuries to key players, but tight end Rob Gronkowski calls Edelman irreplaceable in the team’s offense.

“Julian’s not a replaceable player,” Gronkowski said, via the CBS Sports Pick Six Podcast. “The way he works, the way he plays the game is second to none. The only thing is players like myself and the offense we have to step up and take on bigger roles. We have to work hard and move forward, but we’re going to miss him on the field.”

Edelman, who will miss the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the preseason, has averaged 89 catches for 957 yards and five touchdowns the past four seasons. Tom Brady, though, still has Gronkowski, Brandin Cooks, Phillip Dorsett, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and Rex Burkhead.

The Patriots won the Super Bowl last season with Gronkowski limited to only eight games.

10 responses to “Rob Gronkowski on Julian Edelman’s absence: He’s not a replaceable player

  1. .
    Edelman was the Patriots chain mover. He excelled at converting 3rd and short. Someone else has to step into that role.
    .

  2. Tom Brady, though, still has Gronkowski, Brandin Cooks, Phillip Dorsett, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and Rex Burkhead.
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    And James White and Dion Lewis and Dwayne Allen still have Tom F Brady. So there’s that.
    Of course Edelman will be missed, he and Brady are on the same page to the point they finish each other’s sentences. It will take a while for the offense to shake itself out and become a well oiled machine but look to see the vertical attack become an even larger part of the arsenal after returning last year thanks to the presence of a deep threat like Hogan. Cooks and Dorsett will only add to that. It’s won’t be the confident comfort level of having Edelman there but it’s going to be fun to watch it develop.

  3. Gronk’s being a gentleman – the only reason slot became so vital for Pats was because they nearly always lacked a deep threat and two healthy TEs, and/or a healthy backfield. Pats are now sufficiently stacked at those other positions – and Amendola, Slater (and Hogan) can spell at slot, and even RBs White and Lewis can man the slot. And then there’s the recent offseason acquisitions who could also step up/in. So, instead of the usual RB by committee with sometimes a lineman as 2nd TE with sometimes no-name wideouts, it’s now just slot by committee. So long as they don’t lose another 2 big weapons they’re still odds-on on for at least an AFCCG appearance.

  4. alaric411 says:
    September 7, 2017 at 6:10 pm
    Not replaceable? Doubt it…Edelman replaced Welker who was himself irreplaceable.
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    The situations are not analogous. It was the presence of Edelman that made Welker expendable. Belichick chose to move on from Welker, he had just extended Edelman.

  5. I think the loss of Edelman has been underestimated. Huge on third down where Brady moves the chains. He caught more balls for first downs on third down than the next three guys combined. Huge on punt returns. Huge on team psychology.

  6. The system allows for replacements. This will have no impact on a perfect season. 19-0 and no way to stop it.
    It’s possible with a little luck and Italian hgh Edelman may recover quicker.

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