FOXBORO (CBS) — The Patriots will honor retired receiver Julian Edelman with a halftime ceremony Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. It will give fans a chance to give Edelman a proper sendoff, and Bill Belichick and many of his former teammates a chance to catch up with one of the franchise’s all-time greats.

Belichick is very much looking forward to seeing Edelman again, and spoke glowingly about the seventh-round pick turned three-time Super Bowl champ during his Friday morning Zoom session. Asked about the growth of current receiver Jakobi Meyers, Belichick lauded Meyers’ ability to do a lot of everything in the offense. He saw that as the perfect segue to dive into everything that Edelman meant to New England during his 12 years in a Patriots uniform.

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“It’s similar to what Julian did. First of all he was a quarterback, so is he a running back, a quarterback, a receiver? And turns out he played some defense too. He played inside and outside, did multiple things for us,” Belichick said of Edelman. “It took him a while to get on the field, a little longer than Jakobi, but in the end had a tremendous career and production in every area.

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“A really tough, competitive kid, right up there at the top of the guys I have coached. It will be great to see Julian, assuming that he doesn’t roast me or get into a big impersonation,” Belichick joked. “It will be great to see him again and recognize him for the great career that he had here, and how much he meant to this team and organization, and how much he stepped up us in big games year after year and week after week.”

Edelman has no fear of doing a Belichick impression, and did his most recent one following New England’s Week 1 loss to the Dolphins on his new gig as an analyst on Inside The NFL on Paramount+. He shared his love for Belichick during a Thursday session with the media.

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“I love the guy. He may have been hard to play for, and we all know Coach Bill. But he was the guy who gave me an opportunity to go out and fulfil a dream of mine,” said Edelman. “I love Coach and I appreciate him for everything he has done for me.”

CBSBoston.com Staff