Dangle the drama in front of Julian Edelman all you want. He's not biting. He earned extra attention after New England's season-opening win in Buffalo. No not just by virtue of his seven catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns. It took a groin injury to Danny Amendola one that could sideline the receiver for six weeks to thrust Edelman under a solo spotlight. "I wasn't even thinking about that" he said Thursday night. "You just try to think about beating your guy getting open and catching the ball." Modest considering it's more accurate to say the offense dropped onto his shoulders than fell into his lap. Edelman picked up the mantle with general ease. He was thrown to 18 times in New England's Week 2 win over the Jets and caught 13 of those passes for 78 yards. The Patriots converted just four of 18 third-down opportunities; three of those were done by Edelman. True his first four years in New England have been interrupted by injuries (he hasn't yet notched a 16-game season) and an ever-changing job title (is he a receiver a punt return specialist or a defensive back?). But right now whether second-and-3 or third-and-15 Edelman is Tom Brady's most trusted target. "I just prepared like I do every week" he insisted gently. "I tried to get open every play and Tom found me a couple times." He refuses to indulge the understudy-turned-leading man storyline. In years past his efforts to emerge were cast in direct conflict with Brady's former favorite Wes Welker. Even now with Welker playing 2000 miles away in Denver Edelman's performances are being measured against his predecessor. Jets coach Rex Ryan couldn't help the invocation when asked what makes Edelman such a tough cover.
Edelman carving out his own place
NBC Sports Boston | Sep 13