When it came to meshing with Tom Brady for 10 seasons in New England, Julian Edelman said the secret to his success with the quarterback was simple: allow yourself to be a quality target, in more ways than one.
“He used to get on me like an older brother, but I was the kind of guy he could get on,” Edelman told Chris Long’s “Green Light” podcast. “It was tough for him; when I was young, he used to get on me real hard because we had a connection with the Bay area, we had the same representation.
“We had a little thing, but I wasn’t a stud yet, so if I didn’t do something exactly right, he would fully like, ‘C’mon Jules! Let’s go!’
“As I got older, he would yell at me and I would yell back, if it was not prohibited. I remember he goes, ‘If I yell at you, you know I love you.’ I’d be like, ‘Yeah ... you must really love me then.’ ”
Edelman acknowledged that some receivers could handle Brady’s heat, but others couldn’t. He was lucky enough to count himself in the first group for a few reasons. For one, by the time he got a few years in, he was older than many of his teammates.
“He used to like to yell at me because, I think, he couldn’t yell at other guys because they would tank if he did,” Edelman said.
“These guys have been watching him since they were like 2 years old. I was watching him since I was like 13. They would fully tank and quit or get their feelings hurt if a guy like Tom Brady gets on you and just starts yelling at you. So he was very good with who he could yell at and who he couldn’t yell at.”
Edelman also acknowledged that it took a long time to fully earn Brady’s trust, something that didn’t really happen until he’d been in the league a few seasons.
“That was like a huge thing,” Edelman said. “If I didn’t do something right, he wasn’t going to look at me for two weeks. Then it was going straight to [Wes] Welker. Every play that I had that was designed to go to me I had to execute to an exact T or the trust is gone.”
Edelman also talked about “Bill Tube,” the phrase he used to describe the lowlights that come via a particularly brutal film session with coach Bill Belichick. The worst? After a training camp fight with cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
“I got into a fight with Gilmore,” said Edelman. “He puts it on and he’ll just sit and rewind it like 45 times. With silence.
“So he sits and rewinds it like 45 times and he stands up and says like, ‘What the [expletive] are we doing! We can’t have this!’ Just going on and just ringing me like, ‘You know what Edelman? You’re over here thinking you’re a tough guy.’ Just getting on me in front of the team ... but I think low-key he loved it.”
Christopher Price can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at cpriceglobe.