By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Julian Edelman is fired up for the 2020 football season, the first Tom Brady-less season in New England since 1999. So much so, in fact, that the fire is apparently starting to show in one area of Edelman’s body.
That’s figurative, of course, but the description from a teammate — shared with NFL Network’s Mike Giardi — paints a colorful picture regarding Edelman’s outlook on the upcoming season.
“Julian is Julian,” the unnamed Patriots player told Giardi. “He hates excuses. He hates to lose. He’s already got the red ass about this season. People thinking we’re no good and he’s just a product of Brady.”
Asked one #Patriot about Julian Edelman's mindset this season. JE's been a regular at throwing sessions. "Julian is Julian. He hates excuses. He hates to lose. He's already got the red ass about this season. People thinking we're no good and (that) he's just a product of Brady."
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) June 8, 2020
It’s an interesting descirption by itself, but it also makes one wonder: If Edelman hadn’t already been playing with “the red ass” throughout his career … then what exactly might this red-assed Edelman look like come Sepetmber?
Standing at 5-foot-10 and weighing under 200 pounds, Edelman has never been the biggest or the fastest player on the field. Nevertheless, his quickness and route-running helped him become a reliable receiver over the past six seasons. Yet much more than that, his tenacity and toughness boosted him from “reliable receiver” to “three-time Super Bowl champion/the second-most accomplished receiver in the history of playoff football.”
Edelman has always played an agitating style of football, never shying away from any hit and always getting physical whenever it’s been necessary — and many times when it has not.
With Edelman entering his age 34 season having already absorbed more physical punishment than most receivers/punt returners in the league, and with Tom Brady leaving town to clear the way for either Jarrett Stidham or Brian Hoyer, it would be fair to expect a dip of sorts in terms of production and performance. Such is life in the NFL.
That dip still may come. Football is a violent, unpredictable sport. But at the very least, it appears Edelman has found some new inspiration to play with the highest level of intensity possible.