BOSTON (CBS) — Julian Edelman will be watching the upcoming Patriots season from afar as a former player, but he still sounds pretty invested in all things New England football. And like just about every fan of the Pats, the retired receiver cannot wait to see how the quarterback competition between Cam Newton and rookie Mac Jones plays out this summer.
Edelman joined The Michael Irvin Podcast to talk about a wide array of topics, from his own career to his Hall of Fame chances, but it sounded like he really wanted to talk about the Patriots. The team’s quarterback situation in “Life After Brady” is a scorching topic this offseason, and Edelman threw out his own thoughts on the matter.READ MORE: 'Awesome Moment': Football World Reacts To Carl Nassib Becoming First Active NFL Player To Come Out As Gay
After the Patriots took Jones 15th overall out of Alabama, Bill Belichick made it a point to say that Newton is the team’s starting quarterback. But a lot can change when footballs start flying through the air, and from the sounds of it, Edelman is giving Jones the upper hand to win the starting job.
“Cam works hard. Now we gotta see if he can work smart, in the right areas, and if he does that he’s gonna give himself an opportunity to do well. But he’s also gonna have to beat out the young gun,” said Edelman. “Cause the young gun is there, little Mac Attack.
“This kid, you know, that’s a first round draft pick,” added Edelman. “That’s like a real first-round draft pick.”
Jones is the first quarterback that Belichick has ever drafted in the first round, so he is indeed a real first-round pick. But he’ll likely need some time to adjust to the NFL, so most are giving Newton the upper leg in the QB battle — at least to start. Perhaps Edelman is sharing a little bit of inside knowledge on the matter.READ MORE: Is A Real Quarterback Battle Brewing Between Cam Newton And Mac Jones?
But Edelman also said that life is going to be pretty tough on Jones as he adapts to the NFL.
“He needs to have that eye. He needs to have that confidence,” he said. “What are you going to do? This kid, it’s not easy playing in New England, especially after Tom Brady, if he gets the opportunity and beats out the other guy. This ain’t going to be easy. This town is tough. This town is mean. This town is blue-collar. Boston people, the New England people, they want winning. They’re used to that in all sports. The kid’s going to have a lot of pressure.”
Edelman won three Super Bowls during his time with the Patriots, part of an incredible second dynasty that the team enjoyed under the Brady-Belichick regime. Now it’s time for a new era, and though Edelman doesn’t expect another six Lombardi trophies over the next two decades, he does believe that Belichick will enjoy some success as he builds a new foundation in New England.
“I don’t know if it’ll be quite the success, and I don’t even think they’ll be thinking about that,” he told Irvin. “I think Bill is just worried about getting a new era going, because that era is gone.”
As for his own future, Edelman made it very clear that he is done playing football. He even responded to Brady’s joking around about Edelman joining him and fellow former Patriot Rob Gronkowski down in Tampa Bay.MORE NEWS: Report: Patriots Signing WR Devin Ross
“I’m a one team guy,” said Edelman.