BOSTON (CBS) — When the Patriots went to the Super Bowl last year, Julian Edelman was not there. The wide receiver was in the middle of his rehab after tearing his ACL in the preseason, and was a spectator as the Patriots fell to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Now Edelman and the Patriots are back in the Super Bowl, gearing up to play the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. For the receiver, it’s the culmination of months of hard work to get back to his usual game-changing self.
“This is what you work for. The off-season, in-season, trying to improve to get better. It’s exciting to have that opportunity, but we still have some meat left on the bone,” Edelman told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche for Friday night’s Patriots GameDay. “We are here for business, not just to go to media day and have the Super Bowl experience on Sunday. We’re here to compete and go out to win.”
Edelman has been a gigantic part of New England’s postseason success in this second phase of their 18-year dynasty. Tom Brady has gone No. 11’s way at least 10 times in each of his last 11 playoff games, with Edelman averaging eight receptions over that span. He’s been on an exceptionally great run over his last five playoff games, averaging 118 yards in those contests. The Patriots have won all five of those games, with Edelman coming down with one of the most iconic catches in Super Bowl history two years ago.
What makes Edelman such a playoff stud? Given he’s spent his entire career in New England under Bill Belichick, we should know his answer.
“Well, I just go out and try to have a good week of practice. I’ve been in games where you lost and games where you won, and the ones you lose you say you wish you had done a little more ball drills or this and that,” said Edelman. “I honestly try to go out and put everything I have into the game. My teams have given me the opportunity to go out and play.
“Honestly, I’m not thinking about [putting up big numbers]. I’m just excited to go out and play against the L.A. Rams.”
Catching passes from TB12 certainly helps too.
“It’s been awesome. I get to play with the best quarterback of all time,” he said. “I guess time flies when you’re having fun.”