New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman should have another extremely productive season in 2020 — even without best bud Tom Brady at quarterback.
“YOU’RE TOO OLD!”
Everyone should immediately know exactly where that quote comes from, when it was said, who said it, and who it was said to. If you don’t, you need to reconsider how hardcore of a true New England Patriots fan you really are.
The quote, of course, came from Julian Edelman as directed toward Tom Brady during the 2018/2019 NFL Playoffs in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium. It was probably said before and it was probably said after, again between these two players, but it became famous when it was recorded at that particular event.
Edelman was trying to fire Brady up — not like TB12 really needed it, but still. It was just Jules being Jules and being there to pump up his QB and good friend.
Fast-forward a little more than a year later, and Brady is now a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. So is former New England tight end Rob Gronkowski too, for that matter.
With both Patriots legends donning unfamiliar uniforms in 2020, it feels as if Edelman is the last of the “old guard” when it comes to the New England stars from the past decade plus — particularly if you’re only looking at the offensive side of the ball.
Emphasis on that word “old,” too. Naysayers and doubters are already starting to write Edelman’s obituary this summer, simply because he’s 34 years old.
Now, where have we seen this play out before?
Perhaps it’s time for Edelman to redirect his own famous quote at himself. If the media and the general public want to write him off in 2020 — the same way Brady has been written off ever since he turned 40 (and even earlier than that by some) — then Edelman should look himself in the mirror and scream “YOU’RE TOO OLD!” till he’s blue in the face.
He already has all the motivation he needs this season. His two good buddies left him behind to play for fun-loving Bruce Arians on a contender. Meanwhile, Edelman is alone as the elder statesman for an offense that doesn’t look very promising on paper this year in Foxborough.
Sources have claimed he’s already juiced up to show he’s not just a product of Brady. He should get even more juiced up now that people are claiming he’s already got one foot in the proverbial NFL grave simply because he’s 34 years old and he’s battled some injuries throughout his 11-year career (who hasn’t?).
It’s frankly foolish to underestimate Julian Edelman given everything we know
I’m here to go on record now that people already underestimating Julian Edelman this year probably aren’t that familiar with Julian Edelman.
Here’s a guy who has had to fight tooth-and-nail for everything he’s achieved. You know the story as well as I do: former college quarterback from a smallish conference (MAC) and a smallish school (Kent State). Bill Belichick takes him as a seventh-round draft pick and converts him to returner, sometime cornerback, and eventual starting No. 1 wide receiver.
Over the span of a little more than a decade, this unheralded prospect has gone on to win Super Bowl MVP honors and currently has the second-most postseason receiving yards ever behind only Jerry Rice. If Edelman continues playing at a prolific rate for another year or two, he should easily overtake Wes Welker for several major New England career receiving records too.
So, why are so many people dismissing him? Just because he’s had his share of injuries, he’s on the older end of NFL players, and because Brady’s gone?
Edelman turned in the best season of his 11-year career just last year … and that was with arguably one of Brady’s worst seasons statistically as his quarterback. Yes, Jarrett Stidham is a massive unknown, but who do you imagine the young QB’s going to look for when he starts slinging the ball around the field this year?
If you answered “No. 11,” you are correct.
Especially when you consider the relative inexperience and youth at tight end on New England’s roster, it makes sense that Stidham is going to have to look for his safety blanket outside of the traditional TE position in his first year as starter.
It’s almost certain he’ll target the two most veteran and most reliable pass-catchers on the roster — who just so happened to be the two leaders in receiving yards last year for the Patriots too: Julian Edelman and James White.
Fantasy football enthusiasts would be wise not to overlook either one of these guys in 2020 — and the same should be said for those of us “reality football” Patriots fans.
Even if Stidham struggles and the New England offense as a whole takes a step back this year compared to last — a very real possibility, by the way — I just don’t see it being Edelman’s fault.
The Squirrel is going to get his, one way or another … he always does.