Patriots

Here’s what Sean McVay said about his college battles with Julian Edelman

They faced off in multiple Mid-American Conference showdowns in the 2000s.

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay talks to the media Monday. Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

When the Los Angeles Rams face the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, it will mark the first time Sean McVay competes against New England as a head coach.

Much of the matchup is unchartered territory for the 33-year-old McVay, but there’s one particular player he’s already shared the field with multiple times. When McVay was a college wide receiver at Miami University, the RedHawks battled Kent State in both 2006 and 2007. On the Kent State roster was none other than Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman.

Unsurprisingly, Edelman and McVay had significant roles in both games. Edelman’s Golden Flashes won, 16-14, in 2006, and McVay’s RedHawks triumphed, 20-13, the following season.

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In the first meeting, the quarterback Edelman finished 14 for 22 with 244 yards in the air, one passing touchdown, and one interception, along with 12 carries for 61 yards and a rushing touchdown. McVay played wide receiver, and he reeled in four receptions for 47 yards.

The next clash didn’t disappoint, either, as Edelman racked up 128 yards on the ground and 260 in the air. He did throw two interceptions, however, while McVay hauled in three catches for 37 yards – including a 23-yard gain.

McVay reflected on those matchups Monday at Super Bowl Opening Night, noting that he recalls Edelman’s indisputable talent standing out right away.

“I just remember respecting him as a competitor,” McVay told reporters. “He certainly could really do it all. He could throw, he could apply pressure to people with his legs.”

He knew Edelman wasn’t the kind of guy to bet against, and he said his career trajectory speaks for itself. McVay called him an “elite competitor” and a “dynamic athlete.”

The coach was also quick to point out that he had a hunch Edelman would make it in the NFL. In McVay’s eyes, there’s no comparison between himself and the Patriots star.

“He’s a lot better player than me,” McVay said. “That’s why he’s still playing, and I’m coaching.”

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The details of those games are a little fuzzy for Edelman, but the respect is mutual.

“He’s my age, and he’s leading an organization to a Super Bowl,” Edelman told reporters. “It’s unbelievable, and it’s just a testament to how much he knows the game and how hard he works. I love seeing it. He’s a (Mid-American Conference) guy.”