Peter Schrager knows full well Julian Edelman can play.
Now, the NFL analyst wants to see if the veteran wide receiver can truly lead.
Edelman has been one of the Patriots’ veteran leaders the past few seasons, but the upcoming campaign will be unlike any campaign the Super Bowl LIII MVP has experienced in New England. Tom Brady no longer is in the picture, which significantly heightens the need for Edelman to be a commanding presence in the Patriots’ locker room.
As such, Schrager is eager to see whether Edelman is capable of rising to the occasion and helping those around him improve.
“Isn’t his role even more important this year, though?” Schrager said on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.” “You look around, it’s no longer Brady, there’s no longer Kyle Van Noy. You look in that room, he’s one of those veteran leaders. It’s him and Devin McCourty and a bunch of other talented guys who are looking around saying, ‘Hey, guys. We’re not so bad still.’ I look at Edelman as a leader now because he’s always been Brady’s wingman. He’s always been the complementary piece. We can talk about the Super Bowl catches and all of his success. I remember last year, that Bills game, him barely being able to walk, going into the tunnel, coming back out and scoring what was essentially a game-winning touchdown. Like, Edelman can still gut it out. But to me, it’s what is he going to do to make N’Keal Harry better? What is going to do to make Damiere Byrd better? What is he going to do to help in the locker room? Because Brady is a huge void without him being there.”
It sure sounds like Edelman is heading into the 2020 season with the right mindset. The 34-year-old reportedly is highly motivated to prove both Patriots doubters and his personal naysayers wrong.