Coaches rarely credit sportswriters for anything, especially not for identifying draft talent. But coach Bill Belichick said Monday that former Dallas Morning News columnist Rick Gosselin got the Patriots on the trail of Julian Edelman.
Edelman was a little-known quarterback at Kent State when the Patriots selected him in the seventh round of the 2009 draft.
“It’s kind of interesting,” Belichick said. “I’ve got to give Rick Gosselin credit on that one for getting us started. I talked to Rick — as you know, Rick followed the draft very closely — and at one point, he said to me, ‘A kid you might want to take a look at is this quarterback out of Kent State. I don’t think he can play quarterback [in the NFL], but I’ve heard he’s a pretty good player.’
“So we kind of got going on him a little bit, and we were like, ‘OK, what would we do with Julian? Is he a receiver? Is he a punt returner? Is he a defensive back? Is he maybe a guy that just can play multiple positions in the kicking game?’ So we went out and worked him out. How many times did we work you out? Two? So we sent one coach up there. And then we were like, ‘Well all right, let’s send someone else up there, because we weren’t really sure what to do with him.
“So, as it turned out, he came to the Patriots and caught passes, which he hadn’t done before, returned kicks, which he hadn’t done before, and played defense, which he hadn’t done before, in addition to covering kicks and all the other things in special teams.”
Edelman worked his way up the football chain to now Super Bowl LIII MVP, and he has Gosselin to thank for getting him to New England in the first place.