Julian Edelman is more than aware of the challenge ahead of him.
One of the best timing route receivers in the league has to find a way to get open against arguably the most physical secondary in football on the game’s biggest stage. Edelman hasn’t played against Seattle since 2012, when the “Legion of Boom” was coming into its own.
Cornerbacks Byron Maxwell and Richard Sherman and safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas present the biggest challenge Edelman has seen as a starting slot receiver in the NFL.
“They’re a little different because they’re all big,” Edelman said. “They’re all big, strong, ferocious players. They play in their scheme. They’re well coached. They play hard. We certainly have some guys that are big, but this a completely different group and like you said, I’ve never played against them. [We’ve] got to take these next few days [to] prepare [and] get ready for them and try to bring out the ‘A’ game.”
How does Edelman feel about the progress in the game plan so far?
“I feel good. Practice has had a high tempo; guys are focused,” Edelman said. “We still have a long way to go. We still have a few days out in Arizona to prepare so we’re going to try to take advantage of that. It’s been pretty good.”
This is Edelman’s second Super Bowl experience. Three years ago, Wes Welker had his job before leaving for Denver. Edelman was returning kicks and playing on special teams. He returned three kicks for 73 yards, including a 31-yarder. What did the experience in Super Bowl XLVI teach him about the crazy week leading up to the game?
“Just all the scheduling of everything, definitely being at one has helped,” Edelman said. “It’s always a little different every year I guess. I’m a little more familiar with what you’ve got going on when you’re there [and] being able to ignore a bunch of distractions and all that kind of stuff. It really is a business trip for us. [I’m] looking forward to that.”
Edelman made it clear that he’s anxious to get out to Arizona and take the game prep to the next level.
“Definitely. You’re anxious to get out there and kind of feel your surroundings, see what you’re going to be working with that week as far as facility, the meeting rooms,” Edelman said. “[You] don’t have to worry about anything else. You should have all your off-the-field stuff taken care of. You’re definitely anxious to get out there and start the preparing process out there. It’ll be nice to be in some 70-degree weather. That’s always nice. [We’ll] go out there and try to win the last game.
“Anytime you go to a Super Bowl it’s pretty exciting so I don’t know. I was really excited last time, I’m excited this time. Probably a little more focused this time as far as knowing what you have to do out there, knowing what’s going on ‘ experiencing all that kind of stuff. That’s how I feel about that question I guess.”
Here are some other takeaways from media availability Sunday with Edelman:
Q: Were you aware of the science projects Coach Belichick was working on the last few days? How do you feel about him putting an end to it?
JE: I wasn’t. Coach [has] always got his own thing going and I’ve moved on to Seattle last Sunday so that’s how I feel about that whole thing.
Q: Could you ever imagine hearing about him standing up and quoting ‘My Cousin Vinny’ and talking science instead of football?
JE: No, I guess I couldn’t have imagined that. He’s a pretty smart guy though.
Q: You’re Throwback Thursday video Growing Pains ‘
JE: Growing Pats.
Q: Growing Pats, based off of ‘Growing Pains,’ can you explain how you came up with that video? Do you work on videos like that often?
JE: I’ve got an unbelievable team that I work with ‘ with Super Digital [and] Assaf Swissa. He’ll bounce ideas off of me and I’ll bounce ideas off of him. That’s usually how those things get created, just through old stuff that you grew up watching or you grew up doing. We try to incorporate that to kind of interact with the people that follow you. It was cool, but now we’re on to Seattle.
Q: At Coach Bill Belichick‘s press conference yesterday he was passionate and even emotional when he was talking about what you guys accomplished this season. How did that make you guys feel?
JE: It’s always nice to hear your coach talk with that amount of passion and pride about our unit. We still have other things to accomplish. We could talk about how Coach felt and all of that stuff after this week because it doesn’t really mean anything unless you go out and you finish it.
Q: This is your second Super Bowl appearance, but is this something when you were growing up as a kid you dreamt about?
JE: Definitely ‘ [for] any kid who played Pop Warner or high school football, this is the ultimate stage. This is when, like you said, when you’re 12 years old, you used to dream about getting this opportunity to go out and play against a really good opponent who’s the defending Super Bowl champs. It doesn’t get any better than that.