Bill Belichick marvels at Julian Edelman’s transition from a college quarterback

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When Julian Edelman arrived in New England in 2009, he was a seventh-round draft pick who had an uphill battle just to make the roster after playing quarterback at Kent State. Patriots coach Bill Belichick marvels at how Edelman carved out a spot for himself at the NFL level.

Belichick said that of all the players he has coached, he can’t think of one who has improved as much as Edelman, who had to learn how to play wide receiver and punt returner and did that at a very high level, and even played cornerback when the Patriots asked him to.

“Julian’s been one of the players that’s probably come further than most every other player that I’ve coached,” Belichick said. “His development from a quarterback in college to a receiver, punt returner and even a defensive player, all positions that he never played. To excel as a punt return and receiver for a number of years at those difficult positions is quite an accomplishment, especially considering that he didn’t do those things, wasn’t trained to do them, in college. His toughness, his competitiveness, his playmaking ability was a big part of the backbone of our team. I have a ton of respect for Julian, what he accomplished in his career, how hard he worked to accomplish it, and I have a great appreciation for al he’s done for me personally and our organization.”

Edelman announced his retirement this week after a 12-year NFL career, all in New England.

59 responses to “Bill Belichick marvels at Julian Edelman’s transition from a college quarterback

  1. So many reasons to hate Belichick but I think his statements about former players are more sincere and impressive then they often get credit for. At least the ones he likes. Even if he doesn’t write them himself, which I kind of suspect he does, I am always interested in what they say. His one for Brady was pretty good, especially if their relationship was really as bad as reported.

  2. JE11 is deserving of these comments, and it’s BB at his best delivering them. The stat that the statisticians seem to disregard (or ignore) in reflection is JE11’s first down rate in the playoffs. JE11 was a warrior and a motivator in clutch moments, and it’s great to see the greats pause in appreciation.

  3. LeSean McCoy, “But I’ve got two super bowl rings while riding the pine.”

    Feels like Bill might have heard LeSean’s recent comments, and while not arguing Edelman should be in the HOF, wanted to point out just how exceptional his career was in it’s way.

  4. Say what you will about his regular season accolades. There wasn’t more clutch receiver during his time could keep a drive going, when you absolutely needed a play.

    Sitting in Buffalo and watching NE games you always knew that if the situation was third and long Edelman would find the ball in the middle of the field damn near every time.

  5. Consider what happened to Wes Welker when he left Miami and joined forces with Tom Brady. Brady does tend to make players look a lot better than they would look playing anywhere else. I agree with everything Belichick is saying about Edelman. I love him too. I’m just adding a little perspective.

  6. Screw the whole HOF stuff. Everyone that watched this guy knows he was a straight baller. Bill just said it best..

  7. When I read assessments like these I wonder what the HOF is all about.

    There’s no place for a guy Belichick says showed the greatest growth as a player. Who was a dominant player in three super bowl wins, making possibly the greatest catch in super bowl history in the greatest comeback in super bowl history.

    Is the HOF only about stats and status?

  8. Stats are for losers—-Edelman should be in the Hall of Fame. His story, his intangibles elevate him. If the Hall is for the fans, then he would be a great choice.

  9. All hail pure throwbacks BB and Edelman. The last of dying breed.

    Makes Brady’s antics look ridiculous. This is how you step down with class.

  10. Pretty insane to be able to do that at the NFL level when some players can’t master their positions they have played since pop warner. Dude was a football player.

  11. Belechick makes a good point. If Edelman had been adamant about playing QB in the NFL he wouldn’t have had a career. But this also shows that the team was willing to see him as an athlete and try to find a place for him, which they did.

    In 2009 if someone had said “the QB from Akron will win a SB MVP as a receiver” no one would’ve taken that bet. That’s just crazy.

  12. I’m a big Belichick fan, and he was very gracious with his well deserved praise of Edelman. I also think it was a bit of a see how well I draft moment.

  13. touchback6 says:
    April 16, 2021 at 8:54 am
    All hail pure throwbacks BB and Edelman. The last of dying breed.

    Makes Brady’s antics look ridiculous. This is how you step down with class.

    —-

    By “Brady’s antics” you mean throwing for over 500 yards in the SB only to have Bill’s ego lose the game?

    Or do you mean leaving to go to a team that hadn’t sniffed the postseason in over a decade and taking them to and winning a SB?

  14. I do not know why BB left out the fact that Edelman also did a sensational job at QB when called upon to throw passes as well.

    Not like BB to short change one if his own players, or most players.

  15. One of things that always impressed me most about Edelman, besides his obvious skills, is that the dude is tougher than a two dollar steak. I’ve seen him take some HUGE hits and just pop right back up. Always came up big in the biggest moments, too. I can’t even count all of the big third down conversions the guy has made. A lot of receivers want to get their catches and stats, but shrivel when the game is on the line. Edelman is the opposite of that, a true anti diva.

  16. Yeah stats are a huge part of the HOF. And he just doesn’t have them. Yes he racked up a lot of playoff stats but that’s because he played in a ton of playoff games due to having Brady on the roster. And his SB mvp was as fluky as it gets. He didn’t score a td or even have 100 yards in that game. And no, Tyrees catch was more clutch. It wasn’t bobbled or juggled. He just caught it and refused to let it go. Edelmans was great focus but a lot of luck on that play. I like Edelman, but he is far from a HOFer regardless of how much Pats fans want to whine about it.

  17. I don’t know if Edelman is a hall of famer, but I think he has as good a case as Eli Manning. Not earth shattering regular season stats (in context of current numbers, I don’t think you can compare him to 1970’s) but big plays in the post season.

    No one ever thought of Edelman as a top 3 receiver at a given time. No one ever thought of Manning as a top-3 QB.

    I’m not trying to knock Manning, but because he’s a QB who won 2 SB, people seem to think he’s a lock for the HOF. If Edelman belongs in the hall of very good, so does Eli Manning.

  18. I’m not a Patriots fan, and Edelman was a big part of a particularly brutal loss for my team; it’s through that lens that I see him. Any team would have been lucky to have Edelman catching passes. All I ever saw him do was give everything that he had. Hat’s off to Julian Edelman, and enjoy your retirement – you’ve earned it. Great football player.

  19. Funny how much offense is taken when it’s suggested that some QBs might want to consider switching to WR, when here’s one who actually was made to, and he won 3 Super Bowls and the only controversy is whether he should be in the HOF or not.

  20. Stats are for losers—-Edelman should be in the Hall of Fame. His story, his intangibles elevate him. If the Hall is for the fans, then he would be a great choice.

    Have you forgotten he was a PED user or is cheating still ok ? Fans outside of NE don’t think he is HOF material. You are entitled to root for your guy but take off the rose colored glasses he was good but not great.

  21. riggoo8 said Julian Edelman is not a HOF player. Lynn Swann is in the HOF after only playing nine years in the NFL. Swann was only a WR. Julian Edelman did it all greatly, playing how many positions for the Patriots. I would take Julian Edelman on my team anyday of the week over Lynn Swann.
    Julian Edelman will be in the HOF after he’s done playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!

  22. I’m a big Belichick fan,

    Translated means he is without fault ….you Pats fans are embarrassing yourselves….just stop with this childish swooning over everything Belicheat…..well actually don’t stop it’s amusing a provides a good laugh on a rainy day.

  23. Edelman was a great player, but I don’t understand this HOF controversy. He’s not even close. Welkers numbers were much better, even if you add in the postseason and he ain’t going either.

  24. If Lynn Swann is in the HoF solely because of his performances in a couple Super Bowls, then Julien clearly belongs.

    2nd most post season yards, instrumental in winning playoff games for a decade.

    Lots of Jelly for Julien by other players that wish they had his postseason stats. Welker can keep his meaningless regular season stats, Edelman was better because he was tougher. Toughness wins championships.

  25. Belichick has so much respect for players. He always talks about how it’s the players who play and the players who win.His statements on Brady who he called the best QB of all time and the best football player he ever coached, to Seymore who he called dominating, to Chung, Bruschi and Edleman. There is no one in the history of coaching who has deferred to his players as the Key to winning.

  26. Bill’s words about Edelman speak a lot more to whether or not he belongs in the HOF or not. At least a better argument for HOF then LeSean McCoy has against it. To excel at the NFL level in positions you never played and win Super Bowls and MVP’s doing it make a better case than someone who was trained to do one thing his entire career. Nothing against McCoy. He deserves it too but don’t kick Edelman to the curb because he thinks he doesn’t measure up.

  27. nbptma says:
    April 16, 2021 at 6:21 am
    Hard to believe that Julian never made it to a Pro Bowl.

    44 4 Rate This

    —————

    Pats jealousy. Numerous top 3 AFC players at a position alll over the fiield, yet all other players were magically better.

    Hilarious stuff.

    Look at guys like JC Jackson, Joe Thuney, Andrews, James White, etc. Van Noy, McCourty, etc. Trey Flowers. The list goes on and on and on.

  28. tinye67 says:
    April 16, 2021 at 11:11 am
    Quite the push to make a solid player a HOF-er

    ——
    It’s up for discussion for good reason. The Patriots won a lot of Super Bowls and Edelman was instrumental in them not only getting there, but performing big in big games.

    Why wouldn’t anyone rightly weigh that in as a deciding factor?

    It’s why you have competition—to see who’s best. Winning is, and should always be a factor.

  29. Hall of Fame or not we all know he’s a baller. He was a converted player so by the time he became Brady’s main receiver in 2013, he wasn’t going to catch up the lost years on the stats sheet, hence the unlikely HoF induction. But ALL football fans can respect the guy and know that he played with heart, grit, and abandons. And in the postseasons, he just balled out.

  30. Vasteelerfan says:
    April 16, 2021 at 10:06 am
    Stats are for losers—-Edelman should be in the Hall of Fame. His story, his intangibles elevate him. If the Hall is for the fans, then he would be a great choice.

    Have you forgotten he was a PED user or is cheating still ok ? Fans outside of NE don’t think he is HOF material. You are entitled to root for your guy but take off the rose colored glasses he was good but not great.

    ————————————————

    I don’t know the answer to the HoF debate, I think he’s worth consideration, but probably not. But as far as PEDs go – sure, that can be held against him. But let’s remember Peyton Manning got caught too – and I seriously doubt anyone will give it a second thought. I mean, that was swept under the rug as quick as quick can be.

    I’m not saying I agree with PED use, but I believe it’s much more widespread than we realize and it’s just part of modern sports.

  31. charliecharger says:
    April 16, 2021 at 7:16 am
    Consider what happened to Wes Welker when he left Miami and joined forces with Tom Brady. Brady does tend to make players look a lot better than they would look playing anywhere else. I agree with everything Belichick is saying about Edelman. I love him too. I’m just adding a little perspective.

    10 37 Rate This

    —————-

    Except Welker disappeared in postseasons with good Buddy Brady.

    Edelman didn’t and made Brady look better in postseaons while
    under Center under BBs orders.

  32. “Tyrees catch was more clutch”…..It was also his last catch in the NFL. Spare me.

  33. touchback6 says:
    April 16, 2021 at 8:54 am

    All hail pure throwbacks BB and Edelman. The last of dying breed.

    Makes Brady’s antics look ridiculous.
    —–
    Ya, like winning another SB, right?

  34. Larry Brown had a huge game in a Super Bowl winning performance…..doesn’t make him a HOFer

  35. turkeycreekjackjohnson says:
    April 16, 2021 at 12:19 pm
    tinye67 says:
    April 16, 2021 at 11:11 am
    Quite the push to make a solid player a HOF-er

    ——
    It’s up for discussion for good reason. The Patriots won a lot of Super Bowls and Edelman was instrumental in them not only getting there, but performing big in big games.

    Why wouldn’t anyone rightly weigh that in as a deciding factor?

    It’s why you have competition—to see who’s best. Winning is, and should always be a factor.
    ———————————————-
    David Tyree and Larry Brown had huge games in the Super Bowl too. Should they be in the HOF?

  36. Edelman didn’t and made Brady look better in postseaons while
    under Center under BBs orders.

    ——————————-

    In his famous catch, do you know why he was able to reach the ball before two Falcons defenders?

  37. touchback6 says:
    April 16, 2021 at 12:33 pm
    charliecharger says:
    April 16, 2021 at 7:16 am
    Consider what happened to Wes Welker when he left Miami and joined forces with Tom Brady. Brady does tend to make players look a lot better than they would look playing anywhere else. I agree with everything Belichick is saying about Edelman. I love him too. I’m just adding a little perspective.

    10 37 Rate This

    —————-

    Except Welker disappeared in postseasons with good Buddy Brady.

    Edelman didn’t and made Brady look better in postseaons while
    under Center under BBs orders.

    —–

    Speaking of disappearing in the postseason, where was BB’s defense when Brady put up over 500 yards in the SB against the Eagles?

  38. Let it go! Cliff Branch not in HOF. Two times leading league receiving, 8500 plus yards, 67 tds. 3x All Pro first team, 4 pro bowls, 3x SB champ. Edelman does not measure up.

  39. Vasteelerfan says:
    April 16, 2021 at 10:06 am
    Stats are for losers—-Edelman should be in the Hall of Fame. His story, his intangibles elevate him. If the Hall is for the fans, then he would be a great choice.

    Have you forgotten he was a PED user or is cheating still ok ? Fans outside of NE don’t think he is HOF material. You are entitled to root for your guy but take off the rose colored glasses he was good but not great.

    ——

    Cheating….. You mean like a coach tripping an opposing player during a return play?

    Not only was this cheating…..it was the possibly the worst display of sportsmanship in NFL history

  40. nite2al says:
    April 16, 2021 at 2:18 pm
    Let it go! Cliff Branch not in HOF. Two times leading league receiving, 8500 plus yards, 67 tds. 3x All Pro first team, 4 pro bowls, 3x SB champ. Edelman does not measure up.

    2 1 Rate This

    —————

    I agree.

    – Pats Fan, season tix in family since ‘78

  41. I know why Edelman was able to reach the ball before the 3 Falcon defenders. And I guarantee wlee doesn’t.

  42. I know why Edelman was able to reach the ball before the 3 Falcon defenders. And I guarantee wlee doesn’t.

    ———————

    I guarantee you don’t know.

  43. When the Broncos took Wes Welker away from New England, I thought we’d cut the heart out of their short passing and punt return games. A credit to Belichick and Edelman that not only didn’t they miss a beat, but they took a step up. God I hate that team.

  44. A credit to Belichick and Edelman that not only didn’t they miss a beat,

    ————————

    Do you even know what makes short passing game work before giving credit to Belichick?

  45. A credit to Belichick and Edelman that not only didn’t they miss a beat,

    ————————

    Do you even know what makes short passing game work before giving credit to Belichick?
    __________________

    Giving credit to Belichick for developing players that do their job. No one saw Welkers potential when Belichick got him cheap in free agency and no one saw Edelmans potential either. Believe me, I hate giving Belichick any props, but for all his faults, he has developed gems that others wouldn’t look at twice.

  46. Giving credit to Belichick for developing players that do their job.

    ————————————

    LOL, you think those “easy” routes and “easy” throws worked because of Belichick? So clueless.

    BTE, he didn’t even talked to his QB and WR on sideline.

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