Patriots: Julian Edelman giving props to Gunner Olszewski is awesome
By Adam Weinrib
The New England Patriots had a lot of fun on Sunday, and Julian Edelman gave Gunner Olszewski props for his role in the effort.
It’s fun to be a New England Patriots fan right now — as it has been for the better part of 20 years, sure, but that’s besides the point.
Sunday’s 45-0 shutout of the Los Angeles Chargers (on the road!) was among the most powerful dismantlings you’ll ever see of a (theoretically) professional football team, as the Pats ushered out the Anthony Lynn Era with a series of special teams power moves.
Perhaps most impressively, Bill Belichick’s faith in Gunner Olszewski in the return game finally paid off throughout this contest. One week after his first punt return TD of the season was called back for a minor blocking adjustment that was a nonsense technicality, he got one for real on Sunday, housing a punt 70 yards to put the Chargers in a 14-0 hole that swiftly expanded.
Gunner’s big day is going to make the Monday afternoon WEEI questions a lot more pleasant for Belichick this time around — in fact, he became the first Patriot with a receiving TD and punt return TD in the same game since Julian Edelman did it back in 2014.
And speaking of the Edelbeast, whose presence has dogged this Patriots team ever since he departed to the IR a few weeks ago, it turns out the man was quite tuned in to his squad’s exploits in Cali.
Laid up with a knee issue and stuck on the COVID-19 reserve list, Edelman took to his Facebook stories (old man move) to congratulate Olszewski on … well, on the first time he lived up to the hype and performed like the player he’s hoping to succeed someday.
This is awesome for many reasons, but most importantly because the whole thing felt like a failed experiment…up until Sunday’s massive reversal.
Edelman-to-Olszewski always felt like a viable passing of the torch, except for the kid never seemed to latch onto it, and the old man never really loosened his grip.
But on Sunday, the kid finally put it all together, and he got props from his mentor, who sadly couldn’t be there in person. First of many, hopefully.