New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman sung the praises of the division-rival New York Jets in a recent interview.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has long subscribed to a wise philosophy when it comes to dealing with the media: don’t give up any valuable scouting information or motivational bulletin-board material to the other team, and talk up your opponents whenever you have the chance. The first part should be obvious and commonplace practice around the NFL (and yet shockingly it’s not); the second part is simply a matter of respect, class, and good sportsmanship.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that one of Belichick’s most fervent disciples – Patriots wide receiver and reigning Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman – is clearly following his footsteps and the example he’s so long led.
Speaking to The New York Post (which admittedly covers sports in a region that considers Boston a natural geographic rival), Edelman gushed about all the positive changes and upgrades the New York Jets have recently made to their team. He even went so far as to predict that the gap between the two longtime division rivals may be closing faster than he or most Patriots fans would care to admit or feel comfortable with.
“They’ve got some new coaches and some really dynamic players and a young quarterback,” Edelman told the media outlet on Monday. “They also have a defense that for some reason does real well against us. People ask me when I’m in New York about the Giants and the Jets. Those teams have always played us well. Now the Jets have (new head coach Adam) Gase and he’s got some blueprints from Miami, where he beat us. It’s going to be a tough matchup.”
As Edelman notes, Gase comes over from the Miami Dolphins, another division rival for the Patriots that has had a decent amount of success against Tom Brady and company over the years. The Dolphins have historically given the Patriots fits – particularly in Miami – much more so than the Jets or Buffalo Bills in the Brady/Belichick era.
In addition to Gates, the Jets have promising second-year quarterback Sam Darnold at the controls… and he now has one of the game’s top running backs (and, arguably, receivers) in the newly-acquired Le’Veon Bell. Throw in that talented defense Edelman was referring to, and Gang Green might finally prove to be a tough out for New England this season.