Why Edelman would bet on Patriots making playoffs in 2023

Julian Edelman

Julian Edelman is betting on a bounce-back season for the New England Patriots in 2023.

The former Pats wide receiver was one of several Boston greats in attendance for the opening of WynnBET Sportsbook at Encore Boston Harbor on Tuesday. Before placing an $11,000 wager on the Boston Celtics to win the 2023 NBA championship, he explained why he'd bet on the Patriots to clinch a playoff spot next year.

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"Billy O'Brien," Edelman told NBC Sports Boston's Tom Giles on Early Edition. "He's a tough coach. He's going to tell you how he sees it. But the thing that I like about Billy O is it's going to allow Coach Belichick to really focus on everything else on the team. It felt like little things were slipping away this last year. Little details that you always see. Special teams, situational-type football. A lot of brain farts.

"So Billy O being there, it allows Bill to kind of sit there and say, 'All right, I know what Billy O is. He's a former head coach. I can bounce ideas off him, but he can think of the macro now. He can focus on the macro.' And that's why Bill's the best, because he usually can do that. I think he had his foot in it last year, so it was taking him away from those little things here and there."


O'Brien, who spent 2007-11 on Bill Belichick's staff, was hired as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach last week. The news came as a relief for Patriots fans following a frustrating season that was highlighted by a dysfunctional Matt Patricia and Joe Judge-led offense.

It also likely comes as a relief for quarterback Mac Jones, who often wore his negative emotions on his sleeve during the 2022 campaign. Edelman, who has been critical of Jones for his outbursts, believes the existing O'Brien/Jones relationship will help him look more like he did in his impressive rookie season.

"I think they have a common relationship with Alabama. So I think it's going to be very familiar," Edelman said. "They can talk the same language. They're gonna have inside stories about (Nick) Saban. So it's going to be a comfortable relationship.

"I expect Mac to have a huge jump. And you know, Mac's a young guy. And yeah, there's a couple guys that called him out, former Patriots, but that's a frustrating situation that he was in and I understand. And he's learned from that. He got better as the year went on and I expect a big leap this year."

The Patriots are on the right track with the O'Brien hire, but there's still plenty of work to be done this offseason for Edelman's playoffs bet to pay off. The next step will be surrounding Jones with some weapons, as well as better protection along the offensive line.

You can watch the full interview with Edelman below: