‘Use every rep’: Receiver Chris Finke shares advice Julian Edelman gave him in college

Finke called Edelman a "Hall-of-Fame guy" and one of his favorite players to watch and learn from.

Julian Edelman Patriots
Julian Edelman runs with the ball against the Baltimore Ravens in the 2021 AFC Championship game. Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff
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Julian Edelman knew a thing or two about coming into the NFL as an underdog.

The former seventh-round pick of the New England Patriots famously earned a spot as a slot receiver after playing quarterback during his college career at Kent State, eventually transforming himself into the Patriots’ second-leading receiver all-time before retiring earlier this week.

That’s why former Notre Dame slot receiver Chris Finke sent Edelman what he called “a shot-in-the-dark” DM back in 2018 to pick the longtime Patriot’s brain about how to improve at the position and eventually work his way on an NFL roster.

Finke posted his online chat with the former Patriots receiver to social media Wednesday after news broke of Edelman’s retirement.

“I’m going to have a bigger role than I ever have this season…just wondering if you got any tips for me to take my game to the next level? Drills, film to watch, anything,” read Finke’s message.

By the next morning, Finke said, he had received perhaps the most Edelman-level response you could imagine.

“Use every rep as a learning experience and be able to put in your ‘tool belt’ whether you win or lose,” Edelman replied. “Be a savvy player that outworks everyone. And do well in the run game. Start there.”

Finke spent part of the 2020 season with the San Francisco 49ers practice squad after signing there as an undrafted free agent, but he was released by the team in November and is currently a free agent.

As the undrafted rookie went through his trying season, Edelman was going through injury struggles that, unknown to him at the time, would end his NFL career. He played just six games last year before landing on injured reserve and having knee surgery.

With Edelman’s career now in the books, the former Fighting Irish star called him “one of my favorites to watch/learn from” and a “Hall of Fame guy in my book.”

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