Jerry Rice praises Julian Edelman for the best footwork in the NFL

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The greatest wide receiver of all time has high praise for Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman.

Jerry Rice was asked on NFL Network to name the wide receiver with the best footwork in the NFL, and he chose Edelman.

You’re not going to be able to cover him,” Rice said of Edelman, via NBCSportsBoston.com. “You can’t do it. He’s going to be able to get separation from you and make the catch.”

Rice also admires Edelman for not being afraid to go over the middle.

“What I like about him too is his physicality,” Rice said. “He throws his body all over the field.”

Edelman has rarely been named in the same company as Rice among the NFL’s all-time greats, but in February Edelman joined Rice on the list of wide receivers to win the Super Bowl MVP award, and that led to some talk that Edelman could make it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Rice sounds like he would endorse that.

67 responses to “Jerry Rice praises Julian Edelman for the best footwork in the NFL

  1. Wut? You guys need to get checked for a concussion. Wayne Chrebet > Edelman. Once that test comes back you can drop the pipe.

  2. Right here is why as a browns fan I camt stand Odell and all the fanboying that goes on. Both Edelman and beckham are small WR. But Odell wants to play on the outside and wont go over the middle. If he does ,he hits the ground so fast, just dives onto the ground before contact. He is scared to go over the middle but is crying about the ball. His stats were inflated by being the only guy in New York for years. Odells been slowing down and is too small to get open on the outside. Inm have so much praise for guys like julian , who arent scares. Who run the right route and do the little things it takes. I bet Edelman shows up for camp and OTAs . I bet brady knows he will be in the exact right spot.

  3. special player
    deserves to be in Canton
    problem is
    NE is so successful, there is a hate parade every week they play
    people so blinded by hate and jealousy, they fail to recognize true talent

  4. But all the Brady fans keep telling me that Brady has never played with elite receivers, and he just elevates a bunch of nobodies….who to believe….

  5. Nice fumble. It only cost the Pats the game. His clutch hands also lead to an INT earlier in the year. Same during the AFC title game vs KC. He has a die hard following that only praises him when he’s clutch and get amnesia or temporary blindness when he cost us.

    It’s laughable that some think his canton worthy. He’s never even made a Pro Bowl. He’s never sniffed leading the NFL in yards or catches. Yeah he’s got a Super Bowl MVP in his back pocket. But so does Deion Branch. I like Julian but my god do fans give him a pass for anything remotely worthy of criticism. He’s certainly no Wes Welker.

  6. Avery Hawking says:
    November 6, 2019 at 11:40 am
    Wut? You guys need to get checked for a concussion. Wayne Chrebet > Edelman. Once that test comes back you can drop the pipe.
    ——
    That has got to be a parody comment, I assume. Chrebet was an ok receiver, but not even close to Jules in talent or any other category

  7. kamthechancellor says:
    November 6, 2019 at 11:29 am
    In Jerry’s day they didn’t worry about footwork when you can just use stickum…

    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Another in a seemingly endless stream of moronic comments by kamthechancellor. Please keep it up as I’m pretty sure most everyone on this site truly looks forward to laughing at your feeble attempts at humor.

    Now to address the comment… it probably escapes you since you’ve only been a real football fan since 2012 that Jerry played in an era when defensive backs could do pretty much anything to defend a pass and get away with it. For Rice to compile the amazing statistics that will never be broken took one thing, greatness. You also probably do not know that Rice struggled terribly at the beginning of his career and had to overcome the drops prior to flourishing. That took hard work. He was not a diva like AB, Beckham, etc. Anyone that says stickum (which was legal back then btw) had any impact on Jerry Rice’s greatness is delusional.

    Edelman has a lot of the traits that Jerry had, great footwork and the ability to get open, toughness, and a winner’s mentality. Jerry’s comments are spot on.

  8. bakerthetdmaker, none of your arguments makes sense.

    – Landry in the better option inside, as OBJ has better top end speed
    – Edelman ALWAYS dives down in the middle of defenders – it’s called smart self-preservation
    – being the “only guy” in NY, yet still finding production in constant double-teams
    – OBJ is actually VERY GOOD at running routes – it’s always crisp and timely
    – as for “showing up”, um, wasn’t Edelman SUSPENDED 4 games for PEDs?

  9. It’s laughable that some think his canton worthy. He’s never even made a Pro Bowl. He’s never sniffed leading the NFL in yards or catches. Yeah he’s got a Super Bowl MVP in his back pocket. But so does Deion Branch. I like Julian but my god do fans give him a pass for anything remotely worthy of criticism. He’s certainly no Wes Welker.
    ————-

    Edelman saved the Super Bowl in 2016 and single-handedly won the Super Bowl in 2018. Welker cost us the Super Bowl in 2011.

  10. That has got to be a parody comment, I assume. Chrebet was an ok receiver, but not even close to Jules in talent or any other category
    ——
    Chrebet 580 catches 7365 yards 41 TD
    Edelman 562 catches 6053 yards 34 TD

    Maybe Edelman will gain 1312 yards and 8 more TD’s on his next 18 catches?

  11. You really have to be a hater, or possibly just not a football fan at all, to put Edelman down. His route running is immaculate. He works so hard on every play, see The Miraculous Reception from the Pats/Falcons SB. He doesn’t give up on a play until the whistle blows. Crazy hard worker. I hope he is at least nominated for the HOF. He is the epitome of a player that did whatever it took to make his mark on a team and be an impact player.

    And as for the guy who says Wayne Chrebet is better, I don’t think Rice was saying in NFL history. Chrebet retired in 2005. This is 2019. As a Pats fan, I always respected the crap out of Chrebet. He was so dangerous and you never knew how he was going to hurt you on any given play. But this is now, and Edelman is a great player NOW.

  12. For Jules to make the HOF he needs to string together a few more great regular seasons, like he is currently. On pace 112 catches, 1178 yards. He can get there. He probably needs 3 more seasons after this one looking at accumulation to ensure he gets in. Otherwise it will be a borderline decision I think.

  13. Well, there’s certainly a LOT of holding and interference on him off camera that goes uncalled.

    I’ve never seen so few calls go an elite WR’s way before. Then again, it’s the Pats, so Goodell does all he can.

  14. It’s awesome when only their qualities and values as a person exceeds their talent on the field! I’m not even a Pats fan; but looking forward to honoring him as a Hall of Fame inductee! He embodies what it was originally meant to be: the man AND the player!

  15. unclebluck says:
    November 6, 2019 at 11:34 am
    “Jules”….one of the best that ever played the slot….A Bills fan…

    72 11 Rate This

    ———————–

    Well, except, he lines up at the Z on most downs, so nice backhanded compliment.

    Welker exclusively played the slot, yes.

    Edelman is clearly more dynamic than Welker was.

    All the best slot WRs were actually in NE. Troy Brown and Welker top the list. That position wasn’t really around pre-Troy Brown. It wasn’t a thing in the 80s or early 1990s.

    It was only when more passing started to leak in did you pull the FB off and use a slot option.

  16. mooncussers says:
    November 6, 2019 at 11:57 am
    Aqib Talib said something similar recently, saying that it’s difficult to track him because he plants/cuts with his inside foot instead of his outside.
    ————————————————————-

    I was going to post something very similar. TBH as much as Rice is the GOAT at WR, in a way the comments from a top tier CB were more illustravtive.

  17. He’s not a slot WR. Jeez! He’s like Troy brown.

    They brought in Sanu to play the slot. LOL! And fans are claiming that I don’t watch him play? Crazy.

  18. ehsguy72 says: “Jerry played in an era when defensive backs could do pretty much anything to defend a pass and get away with it.”
    ———————–

    Whoa, let’s not forget that Jerry also played in an era when wide receivers could ALSO do pretty much anything to get open and get away with it.

    Push offs were rarely called and only if the defender fell; at the top of the stem, receivers would yank the CB the opposite direction of the cut just to give themselves that 1-2 foot separation; etc.

  19. 6000 yards 34 TDs is HOF? Sorry. He might make the Patriots ring of honor but no way he gets in HOF. We might as well put David Tyree in the HOF then. He’s never had 10 TDs in a season. Only cracked 1000 yards 2 times. HOF? Lol! DeAndre Hopkins has played only 7 seasons and crushes him in virtually every stat. Odell came in 5 years later and has 2 less yards. Alshon Jeffrey has already surpassed him. Julian is good but won’t sniff the HOF.

  20. When someone as slow as Edelman is as effective as he is, you know he has elite footwork. Rice was slow, too, so he would know.

  21. Chrebet 580 catches 7365 yards 41 TD
    Edelman 562 catches 6053 yards 34 TD
    Welker 903 catches 9924 yards 50 TDs

    You want to see a Canton HOF’er it’s Wes Welker. Yes he failed to haul in a tough catch in a super bowl. His play is what greatly got us to the big game. We’ll ignore everyone elses mistakes. Like Brady’s intentional grounding or his INT but well focus on the one Wes Welker missed. Yeah that seems unbiased and objective.

  22. factschecker says:
    November 6, 2019 at 12:16 pm
    That has got to be a parody comment, I assume. Chrebet was an ok receiver, but not even close to Jules in talent or any other category
    ——
    Chrebet 580 catches 7365 yards 41 TD
    Edelman 562 catches 6053 yards 34 TD

    Maybe Edelman will gain 1312 yards and 8 more TD’s on his next 18 catches?
    ————————

    Way to take games into consideration – WC 152 and JE 124. So over the next 28 games I think he can get there. In just targets WC leads 970 to 839. Wasn’t that the first fumble he lost in three seasons? I will take regular season screwups over playoff heroics any day.

  23. Nobody outside of new England seriously thinks Edleman is a Hall of Famer, lol. He’s a damn good player, but he’s also like the 25th bets receiver in the league at any given time in his career.

  24. So Rice has jokes. One man’s effort to regain relevance. Ever wonder why Jerry Rice failed at being a TV analyst?

    He’s relegated to selling back braces with Favre.

  25. Chrebet 580 catches 7365 yards 41 TD
    Edelman 562 catches 6053 yards 34 TD
    Welker 903 catches 9924 yards 50 TDs
    ————————————
    Hines Ward 1000 Catches, 12083 yrds, 86 TDs, Also Super Bowl MVP
    12.1 YPC (vs 10.5 for Edelman), 7.8 yds per target (Edelman 7.2)

    If Edelman deserves serious consideration, Ward should be elected next year.

  26. It’s kinda crazy seeing people say Edleman’s Canton bound. He’s a great slot receiver, don’t get me wrong. His resume doesn’t suggest him sniffing the Hall, however. A very good role player on a very good team.

  27. gallopinghost says:
    November 6, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Also forgot about the 2014 Super Bowl where he got obliterated and concussed on that 3rd and long which probably saved us that Super Bowl as well
    ————————-

    Edelman addressed that in his book- he didn’t get concussed, it was a bad hip injury and he didn’t think he was going to be able to get up.

    Also- I’m pretty sure Edelman dated Rice’s daughter in H.S.

  28. When someone as slow as Edelman is as effective as he is, you know he has elite footwork.
    ———————————–
    A 4.5 40 with elite footwork and route running and conditioning and preparation. A Hall of Famer today – no – but a few more good seasons could make it possible.

  29. Chrebet 580 catches 7365 yards 41 TD
    Edelman 562 catches 6053 yards 34 TD

    How about putting up a comparison of their postseason stats?

  30. Does the HOF strictly look at stats or overall effectiveness when considering nomination and ultimately induction? Stats, I can understand the hesitance to put him up there. But in the 3 recent SB wins, Edelman has been a huge part of why they won. If he is healthy for that Philly game, would the result have been different? Possibly. His impact is undeniable.

  31. Jules is truly a Warrior. He has made some of the most incredible and Biggest catches during clutch times. This is why I say “You cant stop Julian Incredibleman”

  32. @ehsguy72

    I agree that Rice was phenomenal, but please don’t use false “facts” to defend him. Stickum was banned back in ’81, four years before Jerry Rice was ever drafted. That means he did use stickum in an era where it wasn’t allowed. Whether that matters or not is for others to debate. I just want the record straight that his stickum use wasn’t above board.

  33. Edelmen is a good player, but lets stop with the Hall of Fame talk. Never has he ever been one of the best receivers in the league.

    He shows up in the playoffs, but not the regular season. He’s like Joe Flacco or a reverse Wes Welker.

    A Hall of Famer should be dominant, most of the time, not a few games a year.

  34. “How about putting up a comparison of their postseason stats?”

    Do you honestly believe HE’s the reason they get to the post season?

  35. “Whether that matters or not is for others to debate. I just want the record straight that his stickum use wasn’t above board.”

    In other words, Jerry has the experience to appreciate another receiver who breaks the rules.

  36. He’s incredibly obnoxious and easy to dislike as an opponent – but I’ll join the other Bills fans here in praise of him. Incredibly tough, and his knack for getting open is incredible. As formidable as the Patriots have been over the years, there haven’t been that many players who have been “feared.” Brady for sure, and Moss back in the day – not many others. He’s one for sure.

    He’s a real football player, in the old school sense of that term. Just loves the game and it shows.

  37. u4iadman says:
    November 6, 2019 at 6:37 pm
    Julinan proven ped user.

    No hof and should hAve been banned.
    —————————–

    But not Rice for his self admitted “gamesmanship”. Let me guess, the team you root for has never had a PED suspension? If so, do you want that player out of the league too? You have been proven to be a fraud. Only want Pats players out of the league. Sad.

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