Patriots

Bill Belichick is excited to see Julian Edelman, assuming he doesn’t roast or impersonate him

"He stepped up for us in big games year after year, week after week."

Julian Edelman and Bill Belichick embrace after a Super Bowl triumph over the Atlanta Falcons. Matt Slocum/AP File Photo

The Patriots will honor former wide receiver Julian Edelman in a special ceremony at halftime of their game against the New Orleans Saints.

He said he’s eager to reunite with the fans and that he expects to feel “emotional” Sunday afternoon.

“It’s definitely going to hit my soul,” Edelman said. “I really haven’t seen anyone so it’s going to be interesting. I don’t know what to really expect. I’m an emotional guy. We’ll see if I can hold it up.”

He’ll also have a chance to chat with his former teammates and coaches, including head coach Bill Belichick. Belichick, without even being asked, chimed in on what it will be like to reconnect with a player and person he holds in high regard.

“It will be great to see Julian,” Belichick said, “assuming he doesn’t roast me or get into a big impersonation.”

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Edelman has done his best Belichick impression many times over the years, including recently, and it’s certainly possible he’ll joke around with his head coach Sunday. Belichick said earlier this week that he has an impersonation of Edelman, but he prefers to save it for another time.

Belichick also praised Edelman and referred to Sunday as “Julian Edelman Day.” He said it will be worthwhile to honor someone who’s “right there at the top” of guys he’s coached.

“Be great to see him again and recognize him for the great career that he had here and how much he meant to this team, this organization, and how much he stepped up for us in big games year after year, week after week,” Belichick said.

Despite the shenanigans and banter, Edelman said earlier this week that he has a “crazy amount of respect” for his former head coach.

“I love the guy,” Edelman said. “Yeah, he may have been hard to play for. And, you know, we all know Coach Bill. But he ultimately was the guy that gave me an opportunity to go out and fulfill a dream of mine.”

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