The Patriot Way; there’s no correct answer or definition for it, but its along the lines of showing up on time, doing your job, putting the team before yourself and just carrying yourself in a positive manner.
Julian Edelman embodies what it means to be a Patriot and follow “The Patriot Way.”
However, it never came easy for him.
You know the story: No scholarship offers out of High School, went to JUCO, played quarterback at Kent State, wasn’t invited to the combine, drafted in the seventh round, never played receiver or special teams until the NFL all the way to a three time Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl MVP and Tom Brady’s go-to guy and best friend.
We have seen some interesting receiver stories the last two decades in the New England Patriots organization. From Wes Welker to Chris Hogan to Troy Brown, the Patriots have had their fair share of success stories. However, none of them quite reach Julian Edelman’s.
Edelman may have been doubted throughout his life but it was never for his work ethic, that went unmatched according to his father, Frank.
It was the summer of 2010, following Edelman’s rookie season and he was searching for trust and a closer relationship with Tom Brady.
Edelman’s agent found him a spot back home in California, which happened to be close to where Brady would be that off-season, that way Edelman could be there for Brady’s throwing sessions — but mainly to gain the trust he needed from #12.
Once the Patriots decided to let Wes Welker walk and he signed with the Denver Broncos after the 2012 season, it opened up an opportunity for Edelman after catching just 69 passes in his first four years in the league.
Edelman did what he did his entire life; took the opportunity and ran with it.
Edelman would rack up 105 catches for 1,056 yards in his first full season playing receiver on a consistent basis, and Tom Brady didn’t have to look any further than right next to him when trying to find his next ‘go-to guy.’
The friendship and circle of trust took off as Edelman became Brady’s stall mate, go-to man, little brother and best friend. The duo has combined for records that we haven’t seen before as Brady and Edelman have the most receptions (115) and receiving yards (1,412) in postseason history.
The hard-work and determination came to a full circle after Edelman was named MVP of Super Bowl 53 with 10 catches for 141 years. He came to a knee and got a bit emotional, soaking it all in before being greeted by teammates and his third Lombardi Trophy.
Edelman represents what it’s like to be a Patriot, but he really shows what it’s like to be a true professional and to continue to work hard even through adversity or doubt.