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Manningham wants to see Edelman on the field

Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 04: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots is congratulated by teammates Aaron Hernandez #81 and Julian Edelman #11 after Gronkowski scored a touchdown in the second half against the Indianapolis Colts on December 4, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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During crunch time of Sunday’s AFC title game, the Patriots used one man to cover Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin when Boldin lined up in the slot.

That one man wasn’t a defensive back. It was receiver Julian Edelman.

And so when the Giants bring Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Mario Manningham to the line in nine days, Manningham hopes to see Edelman on the other side of the field.

I hope he’s out there when we play them,” Manningham tells the Boston Herald. “I don’t want to sound like that, but you know what I mean. To our advantage, I hope he’s out there. . . .

“It’s a different stage. This ain’t regular season. That ain’t your real position, so we’re going to try to expose you. It’s all or nothing now. That ain’t your position, this is the Super Bowl and we want you to play that position.”

Comments like that will serve to motivate Edelman, but how much will that matter? He’s playing out of position by necessity, and he couldn’t keep up with Boldin. Bob Glauber of Newsday predicted during today’s PFT Live that, if Edelman lines up against Cruz in the slot, Cruz will “destroy” him.