Julian Edelman
Image via Zimbio

Julian Edelman Came Further Than Any Other Bill Belichick Player

First Tom Brady. Then Rob Gronkowski. Now, Bill Belichick has lost another storied general in wide receiver Julian Edelman. 

A knee injury sustained in 2020 proved to be too much for Julian Edelman to overcome. He confirmed his retirement on Monday after failing a physical.

Converted from a college quarterback to a receiver, Julian Edelman became one of Tom Brady’s most trusted catchers. 

He ranks second for receptions in Patriots history with 620, behind Des Walker on 672.


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The usually tight lipped Bill Belichick was glowing in his praise for Edelman.

“Julian’s been one of the players that’s probably come further than most every other player that I’ve coached and his development from a quarterback in college to a receiver, a punt returner and even a defensive player, all positions that he never played, I’d certainly take sail as a punt returner as a receiver, for a number of years at those very difficult positions as quite an accomplishment, especially considering he wasn’t trained to do those things in college,” Belichick said.

“His toughness, his competitiveness, his play-making ability certainly is a big, big part of the backbone of our team. I have a ton of respect for Julian and what he accomplished in his career, how hard he worked to accomplish it and a great appreciation for all he’s done for me personally and our organization.”


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“Day in and day out, Julian was always the same: all out. Then, in the biggest games and moments, with championships at stake, he reached even greater heights and delivered some of his best, most thrilling performances. For all Julian did for our team, what I may appreciate the most is he was the quintessential throwback player. He could, and did, do everything — catch, run, throw, block, return, cover and tackle — all with an edge and attitude that would not allow him to fail under any circumstance. Julian Edelman is the ultimate competitor and it was a privilege to coach him.”

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