Julian Edelman talks Tom Brady, Wes Welker and how he’s staying in shape during the lockout
|05.30.11 at 8:57 pm ET|
Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman sat down with the NFL Network’s ‘Total Access’ on Monday evening to talk about playing with Tom Brady, learning from Wes Welker, the overall evolution of the Patriots’ offense in 2010 and how he’s staying in shape during the lockout. Here’s the transcript of the Q&A ‘ to check out the video, click here:
As a former quarterback, what’s it like playing with Tom Brady?
‘I’ll tell you right now, Tom, he does it all. Watching him orchestrate a drive, or watching him come in and lead the team, it’s a thing of beauty. He works his tail off. It’s not just football things you learn from him. You learn how to be a professional when you see Tom Brady. How to handle everyday life. How to deal with meetings, deal with the coaches, with all that stuff. Tom, he’s an unbelievable guy and he works his tail off for everything he is.’
With that in mind, were you surprised when you guys drafted Ryan Mallett?
‘For Mallett, I think that’s a huge gift. You’re going to get to learn from one of the best, you’re going to see one of the best go out there and do it everyday. That’s why Brian Hoyer is so good. He gets and sits in Tom’s back pocket and watches him, and hopefully, Mallett can do the same thing, that he can develop and won’t have to be rushed into anything.’
The Patriots were more of a tight-end based team in 2010 as opposed to being a vertical team. Was it that much of a radical change?
‘We just did something else. All we did was just use different personnel groups. We were running the same plays, just with just two tight ends. We were fortunate enough draft those two guys ‘ they both have contributed a great amount to the team in different ways. So with those two guys, you have to have them both on the field, and I think our coaches did a pretty good job last year of doing that.’
What are you doing during the lockout to stay in shape? What are some of your teammates doing to stay in shape?
‘I’m over at [Athletes’ Performance Institute] in Carson, working out with a bunch of guys with Travelle Gaines, and I’m treating it like it’s our offseason back in Foxborough, but out here in LA. Staying physically ready for when this thing gets pulled up or trying to look over notes and my playbook, occasionally talking to guys on the team. But I go out there and work out every morning, after that I meet up with some QBs and catch some balls in the afternoon. After that I kind of relax and wait for these guys to get this stuff handled.’
How much have you learned from Wes Welker over the last couple of years?
‘Like Brian’s done with Tom, I’ve done with Wes. You just sit back and you watch these guys, and you pick them apart. You see everything they do and you try to add it to your game. I may not be getting all the reps in practice, but I’m getting a lot of mental reps that I’m taking and I’m watching one of the best do it. So it’s been a huge privilege for me watching this guy do his craft and learning from him, and taking some things from him, and using it to my own game.’
Taking a trip down memory lane ‘ on what it was like to catch punts for the first time in training camp:
‘I went to Kent State, so we had more people at our practices with the Patriots than we had at our games, basically, so I mean I was a little nervous and I wasn’t really accustomed to catching punts yet. I remember ‘ I may have … I don’t remember, you have to have a short memory in football — but I think there may have been a dropped ball here or there.’
On the 94-yard return he had in the 2010 regular-season finale against the Dolphins:
‘Yeah, I’ve got a lot of room for improvement, so we’ll see next year.’
On his long hair — does Tom Brady have all you guys going with the long locks?
‘I just haven’t cut my hair in a while. I don’t know what Tom’s doing.’
Is it the lockout look?
‘Something like that. It’s like a playoff beard/lockout look ‘ lockout locks! There you go. Lockout locks. Never thought about it.’
On a possible edge coming out of the lockout as opposed to teams with new coaches and new players:
‘I don’t know about that. I know that a lot of our guys are just going to be worried about trying to get better themselves. At least that’s what I’m doing right now. I wouldn’t say there’s going to be an advantage, because you’re not working with your coaches and we’re not really together. But we have had a couple of things together here the last couple of years, so we have a lot of stuff to build off of.’