Thursday, January 7, 2010
Edelman's Kent State coach checks in
Doug Martin was Julian Edelman’s head coach at Kent State, back when the Patriots’ receiver played quarterback. As someone who knows Edelman’s skills on the football field better than almost anyone, he was interviewed on ESPN’s First Take on Thursday as Edelman’s Patriots prepared to take on the Ravens in a first-round playoff game. Edelman is expected to play a large role for New England with Wes Welker sidelined.
Below are some of his comments ...
“He’s one of the most competitive young men I’ve ever been around. The three best players I’ve coached were David Garrard with Jacksonville, Josh Cribbs with the Browns, and Julian Edelman. All three had that competitive edge, but Julian took that to a different level. He plays with a chip on his shoulder."
“Julian’s message [to his Kent State teammates upon his arrival] was clear: He was going to be the starting quarterback. He made that clear to everyone on the football team and he did that. I’ve never seen a player change the mentality of a whole football team like he did ours."
“It’s not a cockiness with him, but it’s a confidence. It’s an expectation, it’s a standard of performance. It doesn’t matter if you’re in practice, you’re in winter conditioning or you’re in a game, you’re going to get the same effort from Julian Edelman every time out.”
"He’s got a great mind for the game first of all. He really understands how to play the game. He understands how defenses work. I think that’s what’s helped him really transition to the wide receiver position so fast. Athletically he’s got great ability to make people miss. He’s really a lot stronger than what he looks like. His running ability is second to none."
“I felt like he’d be able to [make the transition to wide receiver] all along. His last four games of his senior year [at Kent State] we put him back to return punts and do some things to highlight him for the pro scouts so they could see him do those things. It was obvious he wasn’t going to be a quarterback [in the NFL].”
“I think the three guys that had the biggest impact on him were Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Tom Brady. What really impacted Julian is these guys don’t just do it by talent. These guys are outworking people and that really fit into his mold. I think they’ve really helped him transition to wide receiver a lot faster. I think the’ve helped him learn the pro game, which obviously is more complex than what he had in college. Those guys have made a huge impact on him."
“He’s always going to keep trying to get better, he’s never going to be satisfied. The great thing about him he’s one of those kids he could have 10 catches for 200 yards, but he’s not going to be happy unless you win the game.”
“The bigger the stage, the bigger the game, the better he’s going to play. He really embraces that role. He embraces being in the moment. ... I’ve never seen anyone that loves to play the game more than this young man.”