To be perfectly fair, we had plenty of evidence of this … just last season, when Edelman ended up mostly unable to perform and spent Cam Newton’s lone campaign at the helm looking on helplessly.
As shocking as Edelman’s on-field retirement was, there’s no one we trusted more to know exactly when his body was no longer able to give what he expected to. We also had full trust that, as he embarked on a career in media, the wideout would always give open, honest and emotional assessments, even of his former team.
Oh, and he’d probably have the right amount of fun, too. Wriggling out of Bill Belichick’s shadow can do that for a person.
Now untethered from the Patriots organization (officially), Edelman spoke his mind freely this week on Paramount Plus’ “Inside the NFL.”
Last year, he probably would’ve been this raw and honest inside the locker room. This year? The cameras are present, and Belichick Productions isn’t allowed to spike the release of the footage anymore.
Patriots WR Julian Edelman pulled no punches about his disappointment.
Whew, who’s ready to run through a wall? And who’s ready to just sim through the rest of this season to Year 2 of Mac Jones, who’s definitely trying his best? About the same … number of hands in the air, OK.
“The Patriots just aren’t the Patriots right now, and it hurts me to say this,” is an accurate opening salvo from Edelman, but it still hurts to read … mainly because they weren’t exactly the Patriots last year, either.
The wideout continued to describe his Patriots — the team that, even with a rotating cast year in and year out, knew how to play mistake-free football and would never be outmaneuvered our outworked by any other unit. This year? “If they would’ve taken care of the football … if they hadn’t had two blocked punts … if the linemen hadn’t had [pass rushers] running at the quarterback free …” things could’ve been different, per Edelman.
But all those things happened. And here we are, flattened.
Edelman’s venting session was called into question by his fellow panelists. After all, don’t Phil Simms and Ray Lewis stay relatively even-keel when their own organizations come into question? Simms had had plenty to grouse about with John Mara and the Giants lately, and he doesn’t get this angry.
Edelman wouldn’t apologize, though. That’s the Patriot Way. New England just has a higher standard for success, we guess, and it doesn’t get wrung out of former players that easily.
Still, we hate to see you like this, Jules. Let’s turn this thing around.