Patriots

‘This is a GOAT bowl’: Julian Edelman on the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady matchup

"Do I think they respect each other? Of course."

Brady Edelman
Tom Brady and Julian Edelman during the last game they played together in the wild card loss to the Titans in January, 2020. AP Photo/Steven Senne

For Julian Edelman, looking at the Week 4 matchup between the Buccaneers and Patriots inevitably creates a level of awkwardness.

The former Patriots wide receiver will watch his former team (and coach) take on his former quarterback (and tight end) at Gillette Stadium on Sunday night.

In addition, Edelman had to offer some commentary about the heavily anticipated game during the latest episode of “Inside the NFL.”

Now a football analyst, Edelman shared some straightforward thoughts on Tom Brady returning to his former football home to play Bill Belichick and the Patriots.

“They definitely want to beat each other,” Edelman said of Brady and Belichick. “They understand the perspective of this game and it’s a Week 4 game. The situations of the teams are completely different. But you have one GOAT against another GOAT.

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“This is a GOAT bowl,” Edelman added.

As for the rivalry between the two, Edelman explained that part of it might be manufactured intensity in order to help each side bring out their best.

“I played a long time with Tommy and coach Belichick and when you get to a level of success that these two have gotten to, and with Brady, he’s had seven Super Bowls,” Edelman noted. “It’s just like Michael Jordan. These guys have to fabricate things in their head to go out and motivate them. They have to take things personal. They have to go out there because, ‘Hey, I need the motivation.’ And I think that is the case here.”

And as someone who helped the Patriots win three Super Bowls in his time in New England, Edelman knows better than most the level of commitment that both Brady and Belichick share.

“Coach Belichick, from the day I got in there until the day I left, he was the same exact person throughout the whole thing. Not one bit of complacency kicked in. He had three Super Bowls at the time. By the time I left, he had six. These guys are ultra-competitive guys. You’d be ignorant to think they don’t want to win this game because they’re playing each other. Do I think they respect each other? Of course.”

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