The NFL may enact a rule that would have, if it had been in place, taken Julian Edelman out of the Super Bowl during the final two drives. (USA TODAY Images)
Looking back at the Patriots Super Bowl victory over the Seahawks, Julian Edelman played a key role down the stretch, including catching what ended up being the game-winning touchdown to help New England secure their fourth championship.
But one play that was apparently discussed was the 3rd-and-8 play where he was drilled by safety Kam Chancellor yet didn’t skip a beat, some how staying on his feet and taking off up field for the first down after taking the football down to the Seattle 4-yard line.
Edelman seemed dazed after the hit but stayed in the game and two plays later Tom Brady found Danny Amendola for the touchdown, which pulled New England to within four points.
On the ensuing drive Brady targeted him twice, the last of which was a 3-yard touchdown that put the Patriots up for good at 28-24. The receiver showed a lot of toughness during that final quarter and some wonder if he suffered a concussion as a result of the hit he sustained despite the fact he never came out of the game. However, it seems like there’s a rule that may pass this offseason that could prevent a similar situation from occurring again.
According to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, there’s a possibility that moving forward if a player sustains a hit like the one Edelman took, officials upstairs in the press box will be given the authority to stop the game to communicate with the officials down on the field and force the player to come off the field for evaluation.
Apparently the play involving Edelman was one that they felt was part of the problem as the league continues trying to address the ongoing concussion concerns.
“The Edelman situation was a play we looked at and it was part of the issue,” competition committee co-chairman Rich McKay told Reiss Monday. “There were a couple of other plays that go back a couple of years that we looked at and really it came a little bit from the health and safety committee just saying, ‘We got the ATC spotters, they’ve got a really good vantage point, they’ve got technology in their booth, they’re communicating pretty well with our trainers and doctors and we’ve got a pretty good rhythm going there, why would we miss a player where a player shouldn’t come out?’
“And maybe this becomes the fail-safe. So that was the genesis of it. We do not expect this to be a rule that gets used a lot. We expect it to be a fail-safe when people just don’t see this player and the distress the player may have had, the ATC spotter does and stops the game.”
Edelman was asked about the play in an interview posted last month by the New York Times and was pretty blunt with his answers.
Q. Did you get a concussion on that play?
A. Due to our team policy, I can’t discuss that.
Q. You stumbled after that play, but you stayed in the game. Does that mean you were not injured?
A. Next question.
Q. Were you tested for a concussion?
A. I went through all the protocols.
Fortunately he was only on the field for two more plays immediately after the hit before the offense came off the field and at the end of the day he appears to be O.K. But as the league continues clamping down on situations where players don’t necessarily take themselves out of the game for the sake of trying to play through a hit like that, the league is obviously reacting accordingly. As a result, next season could see a situation like that play out a little differently.
WOODY JOHNSON CLAIMS HE HASN’T SPOKEN TO REVIS:
With an ongoing tampering investigation going on it was interesting to hear Jets owner Woody Johnson talk about the signing of Darrelle Revis on Monday.
Oddly enough, despite paying him a salary that includes $39 million in guaranteed money, Johnson claims he hasn’t even spoken to the veteran cornerback yet. That’s pretty ironic considering the fact he couldn’t quite keep himself from cooing over Revis in December, which sparked the whole controversy to begin with. Now apparently he’s keeping with the plan of just saying he hasn’t talked to him. At all.
“I haven’t talked to him yet, no,” Johnson said via NJ.com Monday at the NFL’s owners meeting.
When asked whether it seemed odd that he hasn’t spoken to Revis yet, Johnson deflected yet again.
“I haven’t talked to Darrelle,” he answered. “You can see it whatever way it is.”
One can’t help but take that as, “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it until this investigation is over.”
– According to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, the Patriots were awarded a couple of compensatory picks last night, with the team being awarded a third-rounder (97th overall) and a seventh-rounder (253rd overall) due to a net loss of compensatory free agents LeGarrette Blount, Dane Fletcher, Brandon Spikes, and Aqib Talib balanced against the two signings of Brandon Browner and Brandon LaFell. Obviously the irony in that situation was the re-aquisition of Blount, but the Patriots certainly probably aren’t complaining.
– Robert Kraft talked about the chances for the playoffs expanding in the future and it appears that still remains a possibility. “Well, we’ve had a lot of discussions. It definitely won’t happen this year — a lot of people want it badly,” Kraft said via ESPN Boston. “Of course, it gives their team a greater chance to be in. We’re analyzing the facts, but I think it’s something that could happen when we go long-term with our Thursday night [television] package, that we tie it in to that.”
– Kraft also said that “two teams” appear headed to the Los Angeles market, and it could happen within the next year. “I really believe within the next year we’ll have two teams in this market. In there are good plans, but we have a little committee that we’re working with the different owners. We have some real good options.”
– The Patriots owner also talked about the loss of Vince Wilfork, which he called “one of the toughest things” he’s dealt with this offseason. “That was one of the toughest things. It was harder than anything else [this offseason],” he said via ESPN Boston. “He’s someone we watched come in here; I developed a very strong personal tie to him. It’s the hardest part of this game, speaking as a fan and also someone who got to know he and Bianca and his kids. He wrote something beautiful; he’ll always be a Patriot and he’s keeping his home here.”