Edelman on Johnson's comments: 'Not worried about what people are saying'

Edelman on Johnson's comments: 'Not worried about what people are saying'

There is no question Julio Jones is the most talented receiver in the NFL.

Inside. Outside. Vertical. Horizontal. Dude had a 300-yard receiving game this season. 300!

No one does that. Check that, Julio Jones did.

Based on his sheer size, strength, speed and skill, Jones is in a class all by himself, and no one would dare put Julian Edelman in the same area code as Jones, let alone the same sentence. Well, except for that one time…and this one writer.


Edelman doesn’t have the measurables and he sure as hell doesn’t get the press, at least outside of New England. But his production is consistent, and the respect he has from those that play alongside him is evident.

“Julian has a wealth of talent,” said fullback James Develin. “He’s got it all. The thing that really sticks out to me the most is his competitiveness and his toughness. The guy takes lick after lick and hit after hit and just keeps ticking. I really respect that. Julian is a great player. I’d have him on my team any day.”

“I think people that know football know he’s one of the best,” Chris Long said. “The way he works, the way he brings it every day, the role he’s played here is very good for what we do, and great at breaking tackles. Tough player. I think he’s got, obviously, everybody’s respect in our locker room. I think football players that really know the game know he’s one of the best.”

So why then would former number one overall pick Keyshawn Johnson, himself a terrific pro, declare that Edelman - and anyone else you’d consider a top-3 receiver for the Pats - are borderline pros. Johnson told 92.9 The Fan in Atlanta, "When you see guys that fail and play for other teams at the receiver position, they can go to New England and excel and everybody goes, 'Oh my God, Oh my God, these receivers are top of the game.' Well, they couldn't excel with other teams because of the system. If they were on other teams right now, they probably wouldn't be on the 53-man roster."

I took that to Edelman at the Pats media availability Tuesday. He was prepared. 

“I’m not worried about what people are saying, I’m worried about what people are doing,” he said matter-of-factly. “Week in and week out, we ignore noise and just try to hunker down on preparation and on going out and trying to play our best games on Sundays.”

And that’s what Edelman believes not only defines him, but that entire room. 

“We definitely have a bond,” he said. “We got a room that has a group of guys that like to work, that are dedicated to making their craft better and not just with receiving and catching, but contributing in the run game. Every guy in that room is a team guy. Physically tough. Mentally tough. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Nor would his teammates, who were willing to say what Edelman and the rest of that wideout group wouldn’t when asked about Keyshawn’s comments. 

“Whether he thinks our receivers wouldn’t crack a 53 or not, I’m taking my receivers over a lot of receivers because they come up and make big plays in big moments each and every week,” said Duron Harmon. “Chris Hogan…Julian Edelman, they are playing out of their minds in this playoffs and it’s going to continue because they continue to put in the work each and every week, each and every practice. They study. They prepare. I love our receivers. I love competing against them. They help me get better. So whatever as far as what Keyshawn has to say, he has his opinion but I know what I see.” 

“They win a lot of football games,” added Logan Ryan. “Bill (Belichick) said the two jobs for a receiver is simple: to get open and catch the ball and I think Julian does a good job of getting open and catching the ball. I think a lot of our guys do. I’m sure all their numbers will say that. Who cares if you have Tom Brady throwing you the ball, then that’s who you have throwing you the ball. They’re producing. Period.”

No matter what Keyshawn says, that can’t be denied.

Reports: Patriots among NFL teams taking a look at Manziel

File photo

Reports: Patriots among NFL teams taking a look at Manziel

Johnny Manziel said 10 days ago, "I'd go to New England in a heartbeat," when asked about the Patriots as a potential landing spot.

That seemed like wishful thinking at the time, but they're taking a look at him...along with 12 other NFL teams, according to ESPN's Eric Williams. 

Tom Brady's current backup Brian Hoyer is, like Manziel, an ex-Cleveland Browns quarterback. Manziel would again be competing with Hoyer for the Pats' No. 2 job should New England take a chance on "Johnny Football", the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M, who's been out of football the past two years because of substance abuse and emotional problems.

FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman had it at 12 teams watching Manziel work out at the University of San Diego and said the Patriots gave Manziel a weigh-in.


Patriots re-sign offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle

Patriots re-sign offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle

The Patriots have agreed to re-sign offensive lineman LaAdrian Waddle, his agent Scott Casterline confirmed on Twitter.  Waddle hit unrestricted free agency when the new league year began and made a visit to the Cowboys earlier this week. In the end, though, he chose to return to the team that claimed him off of waivers at the end of the 2015 season.

Waddle, who turns 27 in July, appeared in 12 games last season for the Patriots. He was the first right tackle the Patriots turned to when Marcus Cannon suffered an ankle injury mid-season against the Chargers. He ended up playing 51 snaps against the likes of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram without allowing a sack. He then started the next three games against the Broncos, Raiders and Dolphins and held star rushers Von Miller, Khalil Mack and Cameron Wake -- all of whom rush primarily off of the offensive right -- without a sack. 

Injuries forced Waddle (380 snaps on the season) to split the right tackle position with Cameron Fleming (543 snaps), but he was the primary backup when healthy. Waddle started the Divisional Round playoff game against the Titans but suffered a knee injury and was removed for Fleming. 

Both Fleming and Waddle visited the Cowboys this week, and the fact that Waddle has re-signed with the Patriots may impact Fleming's decision moving forward. 

The Patriots went to great lengths to build tackle depth last season, and adding Waddle to the roster helps them retain some of that depth after losing their left tackle, Nate Solder, to the Giants via free agency. Waddle could be an option on the left side, but the vast majority of his work since entering the league as an undrafted rookie in 2013 has been on the right side. 

The Patriots now have Fleming, Marcus Cannon, Cole Croston, Tony Garcia and Andrew Jelks on their depth chart at tackle. Croston, Garcia and Jelks are all headed into their second years as pros. Croston remained on the 53-man roster all season -- an indication that the Patriots liked him enough not to expose him to the waiver system -- but did not see meaningful snaps. Garcia and Jelks both missed the entirety of the 2017 season on reserve lists. 

Once the Patriots lost Solder to the Giants, it seemed to be of paramount importance that the Patriots re-sign either Waddle or Fleming. Behind Cannon, there were simply too many question marks not to have one return. The Patriots could opt to draft a tackle, but this is considered an average year at that position in that there are few ready-made NFL players and several developmental types.

Before the Super Bowl last season, I asked offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia how the team was able to manage offensively with backups at right tackle for much of the season. 

"It's not like [Fleming and Waddle are] not good players," Scarnecchia said. "They are good players. Their skill set seemed to fit that position pretty well. They have the traits that we covet. And they're both really smart guys, very willing learners, and they're both driven to be good and they want to play good. And I think all those things have manifested themselves when they've been out there playing. And we've been very, very pleased with what they've done for us this year, essentially splitting that position."

Asked about the aspects of the game the Patriots worked on with both Waddle and Fleming last year, Scarnecchia said, "For us it transcends everything. Obviously run-blocking and pass-blocking. They're both good at those things. Are they great at those things? No. But they've been able to steadily improve over the last two years to the point where we put them out there and no one's worried. And it's been that way the whole season after Marcus got hurt. Yeah they've done a nice job for us."