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Julian Edelman: Tom Brady is ‘my dawg’

03.20.14 at 4:15 pm ET
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Julian Edelman said Thursday the prospect of signing with another team in free agency — and leaving Tom Brady — was too difficult to even think about.

“It would be very tough to leave [Brady], because he’s my dawg,”€ Edelman said Thursday on a conference call with reporters.

Edelman and Brady have grown close over the years. Whether it’s the fact that they’re neighbors in the locker room, both California natives or relish the chance to needle each other at any turn (Brady dubbed Edelman “Minitron” last season), it’s clear the two have established a good-natured bond over the last five years.

On Thursday, Edelman said Brady was a key part of the process that ultimately led him back to New England.

“€œHe let it be known that he would love to have me back and part of the team,” said Edelman, who is coming off a career-best season where he caught 105 passes for 1,056 yards and five touchdowns. “Tom is also a good friend of mine. He’€™s one of the guys who helped me develop into a professional in this league. He also told me that I have to take care of myself and my family. He kind of mentored me. It was definitely a very tough decision that you have to deal with. He would have been right there behind if I would have left or if I would have stayed there.”

Edelman, who signed a four-year deal to return to the Patriots earlier this month, has some security for the first time in his professional career — the seventh-round pick out of Kent State said Thursday he felt like if he had a bad practice, he “could potentially get cut the next day.”

“It’€™s good to have a little security and knowing that a team believes in you enough to pay you that kind of stuff, and a little security on how many years I’€™ll be here,”€ Edelman said. “I’€™ve really never been in that situation. I’€™ve always felt like if I had a bad practice, I could potentially get cut the next day.

“€œIt’€™s good to be back with this franchise.”

Here are some of the rest of the highlights of his Q&A

What was the most difficult part of the process for you? Was there a point at which you said, ‘€˜Maybe I will be someplace else’€™?

The most difficult time of this process is planning on the worst and that’€™s moving on and going to another place. It’€™s very tough, especially when you’€™ve been in a place for five years and you’€™ve developed a love for the area. You have teammates, coaches that you’€™ve been through battles with, you have fans that are just outrageously great. It’€™s just a great area to play football in. there’€™s a reality that I could have played somewhere else. You didn’€™t know what direction your life was going to go, so it’€™s definitely great to have the process over and I’€™m looking forward to getting started and doing this right now.

When we look at the group, you and Danny Amendola have played and practiced together and there are some similarities in your games. Do you look at him as a complement or competition?

That’€™s the coaches’€™ job. I’€™m going to go out there every day, like I do every day and try to take things from the classroom, bring it to the grass and better myself. Ultimately if I put myself in the best situation to succeed, it’€™s going to help the unit succeed if I do my job. Football is a competition. It’€™s always a competition. If you’€™re scared to compete, you’€™re in the wrong business, just like any other business. That’€™s how I take it. I’€™m a competitive guy, but I’€™m out there to ultimately help get myself better to make the cohesive unit better.

Knowing your background and growing up in San Francisco, even though you wanted to stay with the Patriots, was it a thrill to go out there and visit with them?

That was a like a little dream right there. I’€™m not going to lie, it was very surreal. I remember going in high school and going to the training camps and seeing the players and then I got to be behind the scenes and meet with the coaches. I was a big [Jim] Harbaugh fan when he was at Stanford and to get to meet him there and all their coaches. You know they’€™ve been in the NFC Championship the last three years and it’€™s a fine organization that’€™s only going to get better but I ultimately felt that the best fit for me and my skill set and my career was back in Boston. That was my home growing up but like I keep on saying, Foxborough is home. It’€™s all I know really.

Did you feel any pressure from your family to look more closely at the 49ers because it’€™s your hometown team?

My parents were in my corner regardless of what I were to do. They’€™re going to support me whatever decision that I make. They’€™ve helped me grow and become the man that I am today. I wouldn’€™t be where I am without those guys ‘€“ my mom, my dad, my brother and my sister ‘€“ my immediate family. They really didn’€™t care. It was obviously cool and everyone was calling them that, ‘€˜Julian is in San Francisco right now.’€™ You go to all these places and I actually had to go see a doctor in my hometown. It was pretty crazy, seeing people around the area that you knew. It was a pretty crazy experience.

Do you really consider yourself a New Englander now?

You know, I’€™ve spent most of my adult life out there so I can tell you right now, I know Boston better than I know San Francisco. I go to the Cape more than I go to Lake Tahoe. I mean, I guess I am a New Englander when it comes down to it. It’€™s pretty crazy to think but if you look at it close, I don’€™t know the city of San Francisco that well but I grew up 30 miles south. I didn’€™t go to the city that often as an adult. Now in Boston, I’€™m there three times a week. I guess I would say I’€™m a New Englander.

What are some of your thoughts on the other moves the team has made like Darrelle Revis, Brandon LaFell and Brandon Browner?

I’€™m a player and I’€™m going to play as hard as I can. I know the upper division and Coach [Bill] Belichick and the player personnel people are going to do the best they can. I have full trust in what those guys do and who they bring in because it’€™s proven that it works. So, if we’€™re bringing in these guys, you obviously know Revis, how great of a player he is. Then Browner, how he’€™s had a lot of success over there on the West Coast. LaFell, having another receiver to have for Tommy, so I mean, all these guys, it’€™s pretty good to have that. It’€™s just going got make camp and OTAs a lot more competitive. It’€™s going to make us better.

What was it like to be on the ‘€˜Entourage’€™ set the other day?

Looking back into the past and remembering when you first started watching the TV show, I think it was like high school and college, you just enjoyed that show. It was surreal to go out there and meet all the fellas and all the people that are in it and the people that are producing it and directing it. It was an awesome experience. [Mark] Wahlberg has helped me out with a lot of that stuff. He’€™s always asked if I wanted to come and be around it. He’€™s been such a great friend when it comes to that stuff. It was definitely a fun experience to go out and watch these people go out there and do their work and compare it to how we do our work. It’€™s funny, they say it’€™s a lot of hurrying and a lot of waiting in that business and it was just kind of funny to see it all in front of you.

Are you going to be in the movie?

You’€™d have to ask Coach [Bill] Belichick on that [laughter].

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