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What's the fascination with Julian Edelman?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by BradyManny, Sep 17, 2012.

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  1. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Before I start, let me throw out the disclaimer that I don't question Belichick lightly. For obvious reasons.

    That said, I am currently scratching my head over the sudden emergence of Julian Edelman as our #2WR on the outside, and as the 2nd WR in the 22 personnel - over Wes Welker.

    Edelman, like any NFL player, has some clear strengths and weaknesses. If I were to put my amateur scout glasses on, I would say his positives = great change of direction; great elusiveness; great with the ball in his hands; dangerous in space. All of these things project him as a good punt returner, and as a slot receiver running routes underneath or designed screens.

    If I were to list his negatives as a receiver, I would say he has been unable to gain separation consistently, especially on vertical routes; does not make well-defended catches; does not have great hands. I would say this projects him as a subpar outside wide receiver.

    Consider that in 2010 & 2011 combined, Julian Edelman saw 353 snaps as a receiver, and was targeted only 22 times, making 11 catches (keep in mind a handful of those were designed plays). In 2010, his DVOA* as a receiver was -29.1%, and in 2011, it was -46.8%. For comparison, the much maligned Chad Ochocinco had a DVOA of -4.9%. Edelman didn't receive enough targets to really register on FootballOutsiders, but had he, he would've been one of the least productive wide receivers in the league last season.

    Edelman already has 98 snaps on this year. Yesterday, he began the day starting at #2 WR over Wes Welker. Why? Is Edelman that much better a blocker? Are we trying to spare Wes the reps to preserve him for the long haul?

    I'm not getting it.

    Julian Edelman is a punt returner and a slot receiver. He has not proven to be productive as a wide receiver on the outside in the NFL, nor do I think he has the traits to succeed there. And that's not a bad thing - save for the fact that we seem to be plugging him in there. As I said, I don't question Belichick often, but I have to scratch my head over why Edelman is getting so many reps with the 1's, and how we are using him.

    I'm all for planning for January & February, and understanding football is a war of attrition, but these games count. If Wes Welker isn't 100% ready to go right now, re-sign Branch or Gaffney, because Edelman is being misused if we plan to continue to use him this much and in this role.

    *Defense adjusted value over average
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  2. UK_Pat37

    UK_Pat37 Rookie

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    The logic I can think of is 1) he has earned them through a solid camp and that has continued in trainng since; and, 2) Welker is out of contract after this season and he is the closest thing we have to a young developmental guy who we can phase in, give more reps to and develop.

    I think that's both play a part. I don't actually think its an issue with Welker, it's just a simple fact we need to start developing someone now and not later. Sadly for Welker, that means less reps for him.
  3. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Rookie

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    Hopefully that performance will end this crap. Put your ****ing best players on the field they give you the best chance to win. This is from someone who really does like Edelman as a PR and WR depth in case one of the top 2 gets hurt, but barring injury there's no excuse for him being in over Welker.

    It wasn't the reason we lost but certainly contributed IMO. 1st half might have been the worst half I've ever seen the offense play in the TFB era.
  4. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Curran keeps saying Edelman earned it in camp. That's fine. Maybe he had a great camp. I only saw one practice (plus all that stuff that hit Youtube) and I didn't see him doing anything he isn't doing now. My evaluation of him remains the same.

    But either way, he's gotta do it in the games. Just like Welker did.
  5. Mainefan

    Mainefan Rookie

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    He's catching practically everything thrown to him. What more do you want?
  6. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Or it could be as simple as Brady saying, there are different personnel groupings on the field..
  7. Patriots Nation NY

    Patriots Nation NY Banned

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    we don't know .. and most likely will never know what is the real reason .. :cool:
  8. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I really think that plays at least a role in answering the question.

    Welker played about 90% of the snaps last year—and his performance started to tail off in the second half of the year, as opposed to every other year he's been here, where he's had no noticeable dropoff, or even improved in the second half.

    That, plus they really do need to know what they have in Edelman.
  9. RelocatedPatFan

    RelocatedPatFan Rookie

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    I honestly can't detail why Edleman is in there in place of Welker.

    But, here are some additional Edleman positives.
    1. He gives you everything he has on every play.
    2. He was targeted 6 times and had 5 catches in this last game.
    3. It could be with Hernandez/Gronk the middle of the field has become mroe crowded and this is where Welker shines...so maybe it's a matter of room (but that doesn't seem right as Welker is appreciably better in just about every way that counts).
    While welker might have been in for fewer plays, he had more targets so that speaks towards TBs preference and/or abiltiy to get open. But, Welker didn't have a typical Welker day and something isn't quite right (either physical, mental or in BB doghouse).

    The offense seemed to make a transition away from being centered on Welker to being centered on Hernandez...guess that will have to change over the next 6-8 weeks.
  10. brdmaverick

    brdmaverick Rookie

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    I've never been a true supporter of Julian Edelman. In fact, when he got into legal trouble last year I was kind of hoping they would flat out cut him.

    Well, I went to at least 8 training camp sessions and let me tell you...Julian does pass the eye test this year. There just seems to be a spark to him. I know it's only pre-season but the fact that he is getting a lot of snaps seems to suggest that Belichick sees it too.
  11. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Get open consistently.
  12. PatsFan2

    PatsFan2 Rookie

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    @BradyManny: as it occurred to you that Julian Edelman is the First WR they have developed in a long line of Busts since Deion Brancha and David Givens? That almost a decade ago. I don't mind Edelman getting reps there its going to help us down the road. It's been a very long time between drinks since the Patriots developed a young WR. I am a big fan of his and think Edelman have some upside. With Heranandez gone for probably a while...he will have plenty of opportunities and he should had a little more Speed to our Offense as a WR.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  13. Reckedtrek

    Reckedtrek Rookie

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    If he's in over Welker, I want stats at least as good if not better than Welker's.

    For the last 3 years JE's supporters have said the only reason he's not a star is because he has Welker in front of him. JE has looked okay, but he's no WW, at least so far. If JE is the Pats contingency plan for if/when WW leaves, the Pats will have weakened their offense considerably if all players skill sets remain consistent.

    It sounds like an attack on JE. It's not. He's been pretty good so far, but over Welker?! :confused:
  14. Reckedtrek

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    Oh, and before I forget... Thank goodness we finally have a Julian Edelman thread on Patsfans! :D
  15. 1960Pats

    1960Pats Rookie

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    I simply cannot believe that Bill Belichick, the man who treats every game one game at a time and every season as a work in progress, is now playing a backup WR to prepare for the possibility of life without the top WR a season later. No way.
  16. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Same here. This is the part that doesn't compute for me.

    Since when does Belichick put next year's goals ahead of this year's.

    What's more likely to me is that he sees a player with a lot of overall value in Edelman, and that's clear that he has that, and that has influenced his standing on the depth chart. Let's not forget we had Sam Aiken as our #2WR in 2009, when the man really didn't see the field as a WR before or since (he's out of the league now, I think).

    What is unprecedented is that there is a more viable option available, that was not the case with Aiken.
  17. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Right. I'm not attacking Edelman either. I made clear I think he has a lot of value, and a lot to offer.

    But I also think that in his fourth NFL season, he has not done enough to show he can play multiple WR positions in our offense and be productive.

    His track record shows he is very productive in the slot and on designed plays, but very unproductive elsewhere.
  18. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday Rookie

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    5/6, ~50 yards @ ~10 yards a catch isn't productive?
  19. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not sure how the coaching staff wouldn't know what they have in Edelman... and why they'd risk regular season games in order to find out.
  20. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    He was on the field for 73 snaps, so, no, it was not extraordinarily productive.

    And again, look at the track record. Productive in the slot and on designed plays; not productive when used elsewhere. Do you argue with this assessment?
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