FOXBOROUGH – At the moment, Julian Edelman is currently locked into competitions for three different positions (five if you count kick and punt coverage), and as he’s shown over the past four years he has no problem being a Swiss Army Knife if he needs to be.
The battle among the wide receivers couldn’t be thicker, but so is the one for kick and punt returns, a niche that Edelman’s done well to carve out for himself, leading the team with 300 punt return yards on a career-high 28 returns and returning 12 of the team’s 47 kickoffs and averaging a team-high 23.7 yards per return.
In camp, Danny Woodhead, Donte Stallworth, and Kyle Arrington have all fielded kickoffs, and Edelman welcomes the competition.
“I’m just going to go out there and do whatever I have to do to get myself better to try to help this team win ballgames,” he said. “I’m sure there’s other guys doing the same thing, and competition, it makes you better. If you’re afraid to compete then you’re in the wrong business.”
He has yet to take any defensive snaps in camp this year, and was coy about whether he’s been in any meetings with the defense (“I don’t know if that’s team policy,” he said). But with the laundry list of all-purpose duties he’s performed, he’s prepared.
“It’s typical of training camp,” Edelman said. “You’re just going out there trying to work on your fundamentals. Doing what the coach asks you to do. Going out playing whatever they ask you to do and doing it to the best of your abilities.”
Wherever he is, he said, he feels confident.
“I’m confident, but never comfortable,” said Edelman. “We’re building confidence right now, in practice, that’s what you do out here. Execution in practice becomes game reality. I’m gaining my confidence by how I’m playing out here and hopefully we can keep that going.”