Patriots Coach Scott O'Brien Talks About Edelman's Development as a Punt Returner

Ian Logue
July 29, 2012 at 07:59pm ET

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Patriots receiver Julian Edelman has come a long way as a punt returner in three seasons in New England. (FILE:USPresswire)

Patriots special teams coach Scott O'Brien had some good things to say about Julian Edelman on Sunday, telling reporters that for a guy who didn't really have any experience returning punts out of college, he's performed pretty well so far as a pro.
"In Julian’s case, he’s one example of a lot of examples through the history of the National Football League – had no experience doing it, had some natural instincts, pretty good ball skills. Again, it was a learning curve for him, not only catching the ball, understand what the ball was doing in the air, how it was going to come down and worked really hard on it.

The biggest improvement for him, like all young guys, is not only learning our schemes and what our strategies are for certain situations but field awareness. When you’re on the field, what’s happening to the coverage that you’re going to face? What do you have to do as a returner? What decision do I have to make? It’s hard for young guys, even if they have experience, coming in with us at the beginning, let alone a guy who has never really done it. He’s worked hard. He’s still working on it. He still has some things that he has to improve on now but he’s more comfortable now. It’s like he plays everything before the play even happens and that’s what you’re looking for. "