FOXBORO, Mass. — Want a sure sign that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is pretty old?
Wide receiver Julian Edelman, at 32 years old, is the sixth-oldest player on the team. And even he remembers imitating Brady, 41, in middle school.
The Patriots are playing in their eighth straight AFC Championship Game, after beating the Los Angeles Chargers 41-28 Sunday in the divisional round, due in large part to Brady. Edelman has appreciated every second of it.
“It’s unbelievable,” Edelman said. “Honestly, it was a dream. It’s a dream. I grew up in the same area as him, and I remember being at school, eighth grade, literally, chanting out, ‘I’m Brady’ on the asphalt. And then you get to go out and play a bunch of games with him. It’s been very awesome, and it’s been a blessing. It’s been cool.”
“It’s still ongoing,” Edelman said. “That’s the thing that — playing with a guy like him, who’s so competitive that’s always trying to fine tune everything. This guy has quarterback coaches out regularly just trying to work out his mechanics after practice. It rubs off, and if we don’t get something right, we try to go out, and we do it. We try to do it. If that means taking extra time, that means taking extra time.
“It’s been a contagious relationship being around the best quarterback of all time, the best competitor of all time. And he just continually shows it. It’s been, for a receiver, it’s been a dream.”
Brady was just as effusive, though less verbose when praising Edelman.
“He’s such a great player and just a great teammate, competitor and had a great game today,” Brady said. “He came up big. We needed it and we’ll need it next week too.”
The Patriots take on the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday. The Patriots beat the Chiefs 43-40 at home in Week 6. This matchup is on the road at Arrowhead Stadium, however.