Patriots

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.

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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.

Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official

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Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official

NEW YORK - Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended for one game without pay by the NFL on Friday for shoving a game official during the Raiders' victory over Kansas City on Thursday night.

Lynch was ejected from the game after he shoved line judge Julian Mapp.

The scuffle started when Oakland quarterback Derek Carr was hit late on a run by Kansas City's Marcus Peters midway through the second quarter. Raiders offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn immediately confronted Peters, and Lynch sprinted onto the field from the bench to join the fray. Mapp tried to break up the fight, but Lynch pushed him and grabbed his jersey. Lynch also got a personal foul.

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote a letter to Lynch, saying:

"You made deliberate physical contact with one of our game officials as he was diffusing an active confrontation between players. You were disqualified for your inappropriate and unsportsmanlike actions. Your conduct included pushing the game official and grabbing his jersey. ... You were not directly involved in the active confrontation that the game official was attempting to diffuse, nor were you a participant in the play that initiated the confrontation. You were the only player from either team who ran from the sideline to midfield to insert himself into a situation in which he was not directly involved."

Lynch will be eligible to return to Oakland's active roster on Oct. 30, the day after the Raiders' game against the Buffalo Bills.

Lynch finished the game with two carries for 9 yards.

The Raiders rallied to win 31-30 on a touchdown pass by Carr on the final play, and Lynch was in the locker room after the game congratulating his teammates.

Lynch came out of retirement this season and was traded from Seattle to the Raiders. Lynch said he wanted to make a comeback so he could give something back to his hometown of Oakland before the Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020.

Lynch has rushed for 266 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.

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