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Julian Edelman credits NFL success ‘in large part’ to Tom Brady 02.08.16 at 11:50 am ET
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Julian Edelman credited Tom Brady to a lot of his NFL success. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Julian Edelman credited Tom Brady to a lot of his NFL success. (Elsa/Getty Images)

During the first full week of the offseason, Julian Edelman was in New York City for men’s fashion week where he was named menswear style ambassador by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

The Patriots wide receiver sat down with Forbes for an extensive 1-on-1 interview touching on a number of different subjects.

Edelman just finished his seventh NFL season and has developed into one of the best wide receivers in the league, after being a college quarterback at Kent State University and being taken in the seventh round by the Patriots.

He gives a lot of credit to where he is now to Tom Brady.

“To comprehend the reason that I am where I am in the NFL right now is in large part thanks to Tom Brady,” Edelman told Forbes. “The trail and grind that we have put in together during offseason is very important. The entire time throughout my second year on the league and even after my first year (my rookie year), I heard that Tom requested to have receivers come out to L.A. (where he had resided at that time), and he would throw to them. I went to L.A. and we worked on timing and body mechanics which we refer to as ‘getting on the same page’ — €”meaning being in the zone on the field together. For this reason, I moved out to Los Angeles.

“At that time, I was a young whippersnapper. I did not know too much. Moreover, I did not know anyone. I went to L.A. just in case he needed someone to throw the football to. The first year he called me twice. In fact, I was out there for four months and he called me twice. Naturally, I dropped everything at once and went to throw with him. The following year, I returned to L.A. and he called me a few more times. Soon thereafter we were throwing three days a week. Sure enough, we started to develop a concrete friendship and solid trust in one another. Ultimately, what we look forward to is that our relationship is both on the field and off the field. The teammates spend 14 hours together on many occasions. The team has a strong camaraderie and bond together. By developing my friendship with Tom has resulted in support and developing a huge part of my professional athletic career.”

As has been well-documented over the past year, Edelman credits his father for being his biggest inspiration in life.

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Julian Edelman: Tom Brady is ‘a tough S.O.B.’ 01.24.16 at 9:50 pm ET
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Julian Edelman called Tom Brady a "tough S.O.B. after he was hit 20 times Sunday. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Julian Edelman called Tom Brady a “tough S.O.B. after he was hit 20 times Sunday. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

DENVER — The Denver defense really got to Tom Brady on Sunday.

According to ESPN, Brady was hit 20 times in the loss, including being sacked four times. The quarterback took some big shots too, but kept getting right back up. He was sporting a few cuts on his elbow after the game in the locker room.

“Tommy is a tough S.O.B,” wide receiver Julian Edelman said after the game. “I wouldn’t want to have another guy in the huddle.”

Brady finished the game 27-for-56 passing for 310 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Down by eight with two minutes to go, the Patriots converted on two, fourth-downs, both by Rob Gronkowski, including a four-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-goal situation to cut the deficit to 20-18 with less than 30 seconds remaining, but then on the two-point conversion attempt Brady’s pass intended for Edelman was intercepted giving the Broncos the win.

“We thought we were going to tie it,” Edelman said. “We practiced that situation a lot and we just weren’t able to execute it on that play. We do have a mentally tough team to stay in the game mentally all the way down to the end. It just sucks when you don’t play your best against a really good team, a really good defense — you can’t expect to win.”

Through three quarters the Patriots had 181 yards of total offense, but racked up 155 yards in the fourth quarter alone to make it a game.

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Read More: 2016 NFL playoffs, Julian Edelman, Tom Brady,
Broncos CB Chris Harris Jr.: ‘Everyone counted [Broncos] out’ prior to AFC championship at 8:43 pm ET
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Chris Harris Jr. said the Broncos were disrespected during the week. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Harris Jr. said the Broncos were disrespected during the week. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

DENVER — The Broncos felt disrespected.

Going into the game it seemed not many people were giving the Broncos a chance. According to ESPN, at William Hill’s Nevada book, 85 percent of the money bet was on New England as of Saturday afternoon.

Denver cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said the Broncos defense felt disrespected.

“We know defense wins championships,” Harris Jr. said. “All week everyone counted us out. They said I couldn’t cover [Julian] Edelman, they said we couldn’t cover their receivers and their tight ends or whatever. We held them to 18 points. That is number one offense in the league and we shut them down.”

“We definitely were angry,” he added. “Everybody said we couldn’t cover (the Patriots receivers). We wanted to come out and prove that we could. They still made a couple of plays, but at the end of the day they only had 18 points.”

Tom Brady was just 27-for-56 for 310 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, while being sacked four times. The Patriots were held under 20 points for just the second time all year, the first coming in Week 17 against the Dolphins.

Edelman finished the game with seven catches on 13 targets for 53 yards.

A big play in the game was Stephen Gostkowski‘s missed extra point following the Patriots’ first touchdown. The Patriots were chasing that point the entire way and then needed to go for two following Rob Gronkowski‘s touchdown with less than 30 seconds left, which ended up being intercepted.

Harris Jr. said in order to beat the Patriots, things like that need to happen.

“To beat the champs twice? We beat the champs twice,” he said, referring to the regular-season win. “In order to beat the champs twice, it’s going to happen like that. Gronk (Rob Gronkowski) is a helluva player. He is one of the most dominant players in the league. Brady, he’s one of the greatest players ever, so to knock them out is huge.”

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Read More: 2016 NFL playoffs, Chris Harris Jr., Julian Edelman, Tom Brady
Scouting Report: What you need to know about Patriots-Broncos 01.23.16 at 2:26 pm ET
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Can Julian Edelman be the difference maker in Sunday's AFC title game? (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Can Julian Edelman be the difference maker in Sunday’s AFC title game? (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Here’s what you have to know when it comes to Sunday’s AFC title game between the Patriots and Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High.

WHEN THE PATRIOTS RUN THE BALL

There is no scenario I can imagine where the success or failure of the Patriots on Sunday will depend on their ability to run the ball, other than as a teaser to set up some play-action possibilities later in the game. Steven Jackson (21 carries, 50 yards, 1 TD) has done well in his limited time in New England, but given the strengths and weaknesses of both sides heading into this matchup, it would be a surprise if the Patriots had more than 20 designed runs in Sunday’s game against the Broncos. New England finished the regular season 30th in the league when it came to running the ball, averaging 87.8 rushing yards per game and 29th in yards per carry at 3.7, while Denver was third in the NFL in run defense, having allowed 83.6 yards per contest (and a league-best 3.3 yards per carry) on the ground. Not a palatable matchup for the Patriots — as a result, don’t expect them to run the ball much on Sunday.

WHEN THE PATRIOTS PASS THE BALL

This is going to be one of two matchups that decide the game (with the other being Denver’s ability to run the ball, but we’ll get to that momentarily). Can the Patriots utilize the options in the passing game who weren’t available to quarterback Tom Brady in the first game this time around? From this viewpoint, the feeling is that a healthy Rob Gronkowski, combined with Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola (neither of whom played in the November showdown between the two teams) will be enough to gain an edge on a Denver defense that was one of the best in the league against the pass over the course of the 2015 season. Expect the Patriots to come out in a spread formation, with four or five-wide across the board, and if they can successfully delay their quick-strike passing game — that is to say, have Brady get the ball out consistently to trusted targets like Edelman, Amendola and James White — in two seconds or less, then New England is going to roll. At the same time, there’s a chess-match aspect to this as well. If the Broncos are able to disrupt the timing of the New England receivers and get their hands on them off the line, that could slow things down. (Of course, the Patriots could counteract this with plenty of pre-snap movement and motion, as they have done in the past.) The other thing that Brady needs to be mindful of is the fact that if the Denver front seven can’t get to him in two seconds before he gets the ball out, they’d likely come at him with hands high trying to bat down passes. All food for thought as both sides try and one-up each other as part of what will be the most important matchup of the contest.

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Read More: Aqib Talib, C.J. Anderson, Danny Amendola, Demaryius Thomas
Jamie Collins, Chandler Jones, Rob Gronkowski among 16 Patriots questionable for AFC championship 01.22.16 at 2:33 pm ET
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Jamie Collins

Jamie Collins

While the Patriots had perfect attendance at their Friday practice, it doesn’t mean they are fully healthy heading into the AFC title game Sunday against the Broncos.

The team listed 16 players as questionable and five more as probable.

The notable questionable players are Jamie Collins, Chandler Jones and Matthew Slater, who all suffered injuries in the divisional round win over the Chiefs.

It would seem Collins would be the one player to watch for the most, as his back injury seems to be the most problematic of the bunch. He’s also vital in the middle of the defense with Dont’a Hightower, who is also questionable, but will in all likelihood play.

Tom Brady headlines five probable players, along with Brandon LaFell and Patrick Chung.

Here is the complete Patriots injury report:

QUESTIONABLE
OL Tre’€™ Jackson (knee)
TE Rob Gronkowski (knee/back)
LB Jonathan Freeny (hand)
WR Danny Amendola (knee)
TE Scott Chandler (knee)
LB Jamie Collins (back)
LB Darius Fleming (back/shin)
DB Nate Ebner (hand)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
LB Dont’€™a Hightower (knee)
DE Chandler Jones (abdomen/toe)
DE Rob Ninkovich (shin)
C Bryan Stork (ankle)
OT Sebastian Vollmer (ankle)
OT LaAdrian Waddle (shoulder)
WR/ST Matthew Slater (shin)

PROBABLE
QB Tom Brady (ankle)
OL Josh Kline (shoulder)
WR Brandon LaFell (foot)
S Devin McCourty (ankle)
S Patrick Chung (foot)

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Read More: 2016 NFL playoffs, chandler jones, Jamie Collins, Julian Edelman
Julian Edelman explains reason for recent Shakespeare quotes on Twitter at 9:23 am ET
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FOXBORO — Over the last week or so, Julian Edelman has posted two William Shakespeare quotes on Twitter.

The first read: Once more unto the breach, dear friends #GoPats and the second read: Hell is empty and all the devils are here. #DoYourJob.

On Friday morning, the Patriots wide receiver was asked if there’s any reason for it.

“Just sitting back thinking about high school and it came into my mind,” he said.

“I was talking to my sister and she said something about Woodside (his high school) and I then began to think of Ms. Barling and when she used to hound me with all the Shakespeare,” Edelman continued. “You grow up and you’re like, ‘Man, that stuff is actually pretty sweet.'”

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Julian Edelman on Broncos trash talk: ‘We’re focusing on what they do, not what they say’ at 9:14 am ET
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Julian Edelman said the Patriots aren't worried about the Broncos' trash talking this week. (WEEI.com)

Julian Edelman said the Patriots aren’t worried about the Broncos‘ trash talking this week. (WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — There has been a lot of talk coming out of Denver this week leading up to the AFC championship game.

Tom Brady has been called a “whiner” and a “cry baby” and Chris Harris Jr. said the only way to tackle Rob Gronkowski is to go for his knees.

The Patriots aren’t going to let that get to them, as they are focused on what the Broncos can do on the field.

“It’s just noise,” Julian Edelman said. “We’re focusing on what they do, not what they say. They are a really good football team. We can’t afford to get into that game. We have to really just sit back and see what these guys do and go out and prepare for that instead of saying something. That is what we’re going to do. We’re going to focus on the process and the process is through the preparation. That is what we do here.”

Edelman returned to the lineup against the Chiefs last week after missing nine weeks with a broken bone in his foot. He caught 10 passes for 100 yards, but it could have been even better as he had several drops in the game.

That is something he’s focused on cleaning up for this week.

“Just going out and catching extra balls,” he said. “Plain and simple. The game comes down to fundamentals — getting open and catching the ball. That is my job. Making the situation as hard as possible during the week. Going out, doing more ball drills, all those types of things translates into confidence and going out and doing it during he game. We have more time and we’ll do some more.”

Edelman didn’t play in the regular-season meeting between the two teams. In the last 23 games Edelman has played in, the Patriots are 22-1.

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Read More: 2016 NFL playoffs, Julian Edelman,
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