Tough Break For Jules

Unfortunately in the game of football, injuries are all too common. When you step on that field, you never know what’s going to happen. You could be as healthy as possible and in great shape and a few plays later, your season could change in the blink of an eye. I have been strongly against teams starting their players in a meaningless preseason game because you simply never know what can happen. Remember all those years ago when Michael Vick broke his leg in the preseason? Just two years ago, the Green Bay Packers lost Jordy Nelson for the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL after going down in a preseason game. Now, we can add Julian Edelman to that list of guys who were injured in an exhibition game. He’s out for the year after a complete tear was shown in his ACL.

When he was drafted in 2009 by the New England Patriots, he was actually a quarterback who converted himself into a wide receiver and it has paid off big time not just for him and his career, by for the Patriots offense. He learned from Wes Welker and once Wes left, Julian Edelman stepped in and became that top receiver for Tom Brady. He’s an extremely tough football player and he fights for every pass thrown in his direction. He’s a lot shiftier than people give him credit for and has absolutely tremendous footwork to complement his skillset. One thing he does so well is running his routes and having the ability to sit in the zone and patiently wait for the ball to come in his direction. He isn’t like most receivers that are smaller. He plays the position with the mentality of a running back meaning once that ball is in his hands, he doesn’t catch it and falls down with it, he can take the contact and somehow stay on his feet to keep it moving. He’s also been extremely durable throughout his career despite breaking his foot in 2015 but he was able to come back for the playoffs. His presence within that Patriots offense is just as important as Rob Gronkowski’s.

If any team has truly lived by the motto, the next man must step up, it’s been the New England Patriots. Luckily, they have a lot of depth at the wide receiver position. With Brandin Cooks, Malcolm Mitchell, Danny Amendola and Chris Hogan, they will be just fine. This is where I expect Hogan to be utilized even more now. When Gronk went down with his back injury last year, Hogan stepped in and was used within the same capacity as Gronk. He ran those seam routes, he worked the middle of the field and he was consistent. Watch him be used the same way that Julian Edelman is used.