Morning Sports Update

‘Those are things I’ve never seen’: Julian Edelman’s take on the Patriots’ offense

"But if anyone can do it, I mean Bill Belichick, he's a pretty smart guy."

Julian Edelman
Julian Edelman during his Patriots career. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

The Red Sox defeated the Pirates 5-3 on Tuesday. Boston has won four of its last five, and remains four games out of the final American League wild-card spot.

Tonight, the Red Sox face the Pirates again at 7:05 p.m.

Also tonight, the Revolution face Toronto FC at 7:30 p.m.

And on Friday at 7 p.m., the Patriots host the Panthers in the team’s second preseason game.

Julian Edelman on the Patriots’ offense: During a recent interview on the “Rich Eisen Show,” Julian Edelman was asked for his take on his former team’s new offense.

“I think it’s a learning process, for everyone,” said Edelman. “The whole team.”


Edelman, 36, retired from football in 2021. Now a studio analyst for “Inside the NFL” on Paramount Plus, he acknowledged that the New England offense he saw in the team’s first preseason game against the Giants on Aug. 11 included things he was unfamiliar with.

“It’s going to be interesting,” he said. “I watched that game, I watched the cut-ups, and a lot of the concepts are nothing that I’ve seen. A lot of them are very vanilla, which is very procedural with preseason. They want to throw vanilla stuff out there and see mano-a-mano, can the kid get open? Can he make the catch? Let’s not try to scheme anything up, but you know those are things I’ve never seen, and it’s going to be interesting.

“Josh McDaniels, he’s a really good play-caller,” Edelman continued. “And we saw Josh McDaniels and Mac Jones work last year together and we had some great results. Now you’re going to see your biggest leap usually from your young quarterback year one to year two, because he’s going to know the system, he’s going to know the environment, the schedule, everything usually comes easier [in the] second year, but he’s going in with a completely different mindset at offensive coordinator and now he has to learn how they’re going to call plays. They’ve got to learn what plays he likes.”


Edelman pointed out that Bill Belichick — who now has both Matt Patricia and Joe Judge involved with offensive coaching in 2022 — may have had an alternate plan originally.

“Honestly you don’t know really how this came about,” said Edelman. “They could’ve had somebody lined up and it didn’t go through, something could’ve happened. So it’s hard to put a judgement on it. It’s going to be a learning experience. But if anyone can do it, I mean Bill Belichick, he’s a pretty smart guy.”

When asked about the theory that the Patriots simplified the team’s playbook after McDaniels’s departure in order to help younger wide receivers develop, Edelman concurred.

“At the end point of my last year there, I mean it was getting pretty complex,” Edelman admitted. After recalling a multi-step Patriots play-call, Edelman noted that coaches would “condense it to the new guy.”

“Because the new player — in college all these guys are doing like one-word calls, everyone’s a play — so then they were subbing formations with words, so ‘Zero out slot’ was now ‘Rome.’ So I could see them trying to simplify to allow the guys to play fast.”

As for any speculation of a comeback, Edelman reiterated that “you can never say never.”


“I’ll tell you right now, if I had three weeks, three maybe four weeks — beginning of the season, absolutely not,” Edelman said of a potential comeback. “But if there’s a team vying for a playoff run, guy goes down. Could I get ready? I probably could.”

Trivia: Julian Edelman and Wes Welker account for seven of the eight seasons in Patriots in history in which a wide receiver has topped 100 receptions in a year. Can you name the only other Patriots wide receiver to record a 100-catch season?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He was the Patriots’ last ever eighth-round draft pick.

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