Edelman’s Strong Return No Surprise to Belichick
By Kevin Duffy
FOXBORO -- There are many reasons for the Patriots’ offensive transformation from September to October.
Perhaps the greatest factor: A healthy Julian Edelman.
Edelman returned from a PED suspension in Week 5 against the Colts. When he played his first game, he was just over 12 months removed from an ACL reconstruction in his right knee.
And the 32-year-old Edelman picked up right where he left off. In four games this season, he’s averaging 6.3 receptions for 62.8 yards. That’s about six fewer yards per game than his average in 2016, when he posted a career-high 1,106 yards. Edelman’s catch percentage is way up this year, though. He’s catching 73.5 percent of the passes thrown his way, as opposed to 61.6 percent in 2016.
None of this is surprising to Bill Belichick.
“I thought Julian had a good camp,” Belichick said. “I think he showed even during the spring when he was out there that he was pretty close.”
“I don’t think you’re exactly sure what you’re going to see the first time (in a regular season game), but by the time we got through the spring and then training camp I was pretty confident that it would be, you know, where it was earlier this year,” Belichick said.
Edelman’s 25 receptions ranks third on the Patriots, trailing only James White and Rob Gronkowski.