When Julian Edelman arrived in New England in 2009, he was in the seventh round of a draft that had a tough battle, only to make the list after playing quarterback in Kent. Patriots coach Bill Belichik marvels at how Edelman has made a place for himself at the NFL.
Belichik said that of all the players he coached, he could not think of one who had improved as much as Edelman, who had to learn how to play with a wide receiver and a returning player, and he did so on very high level, and even played cornerback when the Patriots asked him to.
“Julian is one of the players who has probably surpassed more than any other player I have coached,” Belichik said. “His development from a quarterback in college to a recipient returning a player and even a defensive player, all positions he never played. To excel as a punt and successor for a few years in these difficult positions is quite a great achievement, especially considering that he did not do these things, he was not trained to do them in college. His toughness, his competitiveness, his ability to play are a big part of the backbone of our team. I have a lot of respect for Julian, what he has achieved in his career, how hard he has worked to make it happen, and I am very grateful for everything he has done for me and our organization. “
Edelman announced his retirement this week after a 12-year career in the NFL, all in New England.