On D or Special Teams, Edelman Doing ‘Whatever Coaches Ask’
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FOXBORO (CBS) – It seems like Julian Edelman is finding new ways to get on the field for the Patriots.
Whether it be his usual position at receiver, on special teams, or more recently, on defense, the former college quarterback is just trying to make an impact.
On Monday night, he did just that.
With New England leading 17-3 in the third quarter, Edelman fielded a Kansas City punt at the New England 28. 72 yards later, he had the Patriots first touchdown return of the season and New England was out to a 24-3.
“The team got a win, we executed a play on special teams and finally got a return,” said Edelman after the 34-3 win. “It feels good.”
The Patriots special teams, normally something head coach Bill Belchick takes extreme pride in, has struggled this season. But on Monday night, they finally broke out, albeit for one play.
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“We held the gunners,” said Edelman. “We got those guys, internal guys did a good job blocking their guys. As a punt returner, you’ve got to make one miss, get back to your return side and we executed the play pretty well. I thought it was good to get one.”
He made tacklers miss and was able to find a seem. He even got a key blog from Wes Welker.
Too bad he didn’t see it.
“I really didn’t see it. I saw they had our gunners and that’s what you have to do. Internal guys held their guys, and we executed the play,” said Edelman.
“It’s definitely a new experience, but like I said, whatever the coaches ask me to do I’m going to go out and try to do,” he said.
“He’s learning how to play defense,” said Belichick. “He’s got a long way to go, but he’s working hard, he’s getting reps and he’s getting better at it.”
“I loved him out there; running around with that great punt return, playing on defense,” said linebacker Rob Ninkovich. “The more you can do.”
“He’s a great player, he’s athletic,” said defensive end Andre Carter. “I know he specializes in kickoff and punt returns, but we needed his help and he did his due diligence in learning the scheme.”
“With some of the things that have happened in our secondary as far as guys going down and other guys having to step up, he’s done a great job taking that role and going out there doing the best he can. I think he’s doing good out there,” added Ninkovich.
As for the return game, the Pats head coach said that has been close for a couple of weeks now.
“Sometimes you get frustrated because you’re just a step away or you get a bad kick when you get good blocking or you get a good kick and miss a block, or whatever it is,” said Belichick. “But (Monday) it came together. He broke a couple of tackles and we kind of had them sealed off there. It was a big play in the game.”
Now the Patriots need to feed off it, and keep it going.