FOXBORO, Mass. — Julian Edelman had a big day Wednesday. He took home AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors and was able to zing his legendary quarterback.
The New England Patriots receiver, in typical Edelman fashion, credited his award to the rest of his teammates.
“It feels good,” Edelman said Wednesday in the Patriots’ locker room. “Especially — that’s a whole-unit play. I feel like it would have been impossible without crucial blocks, good scheming. That’s a unit award, but it’s in the past, and we’re moving on.”
On the 84-yard punt-return touchdown that earned Edelman the weekly honor, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady sprinted down the sideline to meet the receiver in the end zone. Edelman was surprised to see Brady.
“I was. It was unbelievable,” Edelman said. “He’s looking as fast as ever.”
Brady spoke extensively Wednesday morning about still trying to be one of the guys, despite being at a different point in his life.
“I think for me, I always feel like I’m the same guy,” Brady said. “I feel like I’m still the kid from Portola Drive. I know probably from the outside in, it’s different, but from the inside out, it’s the same. A big part of playing this game is the relationships you have with your teammates.
“It’s easier when you’re all the same age because you’re all doing the same stuff. My life is a lot different now than when I was 24. Like on a bye week, I couldn’t wait to get out of town — where were we going, and there are all these things to do. And now I see all my teammates doing the same stuff, and I say, ‘Go enjoy it because you’re going to be married with three kids someday, and it’s going to be a lot different.’ They have those experiences, and I have a different experience, and I don’t need to go through what they’re going through to feel like them.
“I think the common thing that we all have in common is playing for this team and trying to do everything we can to help this team win. That’s what we’re here for. I think all those guys that I play with, hopefully like I said after the game, I just want to earn their trust and respect. That’s what I try to do, and I do that through going out there and trying to do it every day, and that’s what I expect of them, too, and when I don’t feel like they’re doing it, I let them know. That’s part of what veteran leadership is, too, is making sure we’re all accountable.”
So, is Brady, despite all of his accomplishments, still one of the guys?
“He’s definitely one of the guys,” Edelman said. “He may be like 20 years older than us. Nah, he’s one of my best friends, and (it’s) a pleasure to work with him and be around him each and every day and, you know, hang out.”
Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images