Jets Coach Adam Gase Explains How Difficult Julian Edelman Is To Defend

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October 17, 2019

New York Jets coach Adam Gase knows containing Julian Edelman is one of the keys to limiting the New England Patriots’ offense. He also knows that’s far easier said than done.

Ahead of the Jets’ upcoming Monday night matchup with Edelman’s New England Patriots, Gase mentioned the veteran slot receiver’s long history of torching Gase-coached teams.

“I’ve seen him play so much, and he’s worked over some of the teams that I’ve been on before,” Gase said Thursday in a conference call with New England reporters. “He’s always a guy that we’ve had to game plan for. He’s always a guy that we’ve had to try to contain. I don’t know if I’ve ever … walked out of a game and (said), ‘Well, we shut him down,’ because that’s just not going to happen.”

Gase always has focused on the offensive side of the ball, so defending Edelman never has been his direct responsibility. He isn’t wrong in his assessment, though.

In seven games against Gase since 2013 — spanning his head-coaching stints in New York and Miami and his time as Denver’s offensive coordinator — Edelman has 59 catches for 663 yards and seven TDs.

2019 vs. Jets: 7 catches, 62 yards, 1 TD (hurt before halftime)
2018 at Dolphins: 9 catches, 86 yards, 1 TD
2016 at Dolphins: 8 catches, 151 yards, 1 TD
2016 vs. Dolphins: 7 catches, 76 yards
2014 vs. Broncos: 9 catches, 89 yards, 1 TD
2013 AFC Championship at Broncos: 10 catches, 89 yards, 1 TD
2013 vs. Broncos: 9 catches, 110 yards, 2 TD

The chest injury Edelman suffered during New England’s 35-14 Week 3 win over Gase’s Jets has limited him in practice but hasn’t diminished his productivity. Following a quiet Week 4, the 33-year-old totaled 17 receptions for 223 yards and one touchdown in wins over the Washington Redskins and New York Giants.

Running back James White (15 catches) was the only other Patriot with more than six receptions during that two-game span.

“I think he does exactly what (the Patriots) need him to do as far as what they want to do schematically,” Gase said of Edelman. “And I think when you have a guy that is trusted by a Hall of Fame quarterback (Tom Brady), his impact in games is going to always be critical.”

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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