When the New England Patriots took a late-round flyer on undersized Kent State quarterback Julian Edelman in the 2009 NFL draft, nobody saw him become what he is now. Over the last seven years, Edelman turned into one of the league’s most prolific wide receivers and Tom Brady’s safety blanket.
He also turned into one of New England’s favorite sons; he turned into a folk hero.
Edelman was able to do that by being a gritty, tough competitor and a perfect match for what the Patriots do on offense. Those adjectives are the same the 30-year old used when he recently talked about Boston in an interview with Augustman Magazine.
The wideout was asked what working and living in a city like Boston, one that worships its athletes, feels like and what becoming a Bostonian meant to him. Edelman answered as follows:
Becoming a Bostonian has been unbelievable. It has been an incredible place to live and play a sport I love. Boston is a gritty, tough town and a perfect match for me coming from a blue-collar, humble background myself. I love that in Boston the year isn’t broken up by seasons, like fall and summer. It’s broken up by sport: basketball season, football season, hockey season and baseball season. Think about it, other big market cities like San Francisco or Los Angeles or New York have other industries. They have tech and real estate and Hollywood and fashion. Boston has sports, that’s it.
Tom Brady’s number one wide receiver target went on to talk about his quarterback and compared the Patriots to another football dynasty: the San Francisco 49ers of the 1980s and 1990s.
I’m a product of the late ’80s, early ’90s, the Bill Walsh era at the San Francisco 49ers – so being a Patriot in a town like Boston reminds me of that golden era of football. I remember being in eighth grade and pretending to be Tom Brady at recess and now I am teammates and friends with Tom Brady. We held up the Vince Lombardi trophy together. So yea, playing for the New England Patriots has been my greatest achievement, it has been the highlight of my life no doubt.
Edelman also talked about his YouTube channel and his post-career plans. He finished the interview with a quote about his legacy – and it perfectly sums up Edelman as a player, teammate and person:
I always try to be a good teammate and try to win as many ball games as I can. But beyond all that, I hope I was able to give back enough to the communities – on both coasts – that have embraced and supported me and really made a true difference.