Tedy Bruschi helped construct “The Patriot Way,” and the former New England linebacker believes Julian Edelman personified the mantra to a tee.
Edelman on Monday officially retired from the NFL after 12 seasons, all with the Patriots. During a recent appearance on “SportsCenter,” Bruschi reflected on the admirable career of the longtime New England wide receiver.
“Man, I love Julian Edelman and it was the perfect Patriots career, really,” Bruschi said on ESPN. “In terms of coming in and not knowing what he could do and then turning himself into a player that just did everything. In terms of offense, defense, special teams — the returner aspect of it — his toughness, his leadership. I remember being in training camp with him in 2009, wondering what are they going to do with this kid? He does a lot of things well and you know he wants it and he’s playing hard. He’s always asking questions. ‘What do I need to do?’ It’s like, ‘Listen, man. You just got to keep playing hard, keeping working hard and you’ll see what happens.’
“That’s all Bill (Belichick) always preaches in his team meetings and in his locker rooms. Julian Edelman is the perfect example of that — turning yourself into a player that can be considered for, I mean, you’re even debating a Hall of Fame if he can be doing that. But his postseason numbers are extraordinary, championships that he won. I mean, I feel privileged to have watched every single down of his career. Just a huge Julian Edelman fan and congratulations on everything that he did.”
Bruschi isn’t the only member of the Patriots’ past who feels this way about Edelman. Willie McGinest, another linebacker from the first wave of New England’s dynasty, has a great deal of respect for Edelman for being a “self-made” player.