Giants vs. Patriots: Julian Edelman Is Ready for All 3 Phases of the Game

Tony Santorsa@@TonySantorsaSenior Writer IIFebruary 2, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 11:  Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots competes before a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium on August 11, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Just a few months ago Julian Edelman was lost in the mix on the New England Patriots roster as a backup slot receiver sitting behind Wes Welker.

Edelman hardly saw the field as a receiver and spent his time returning punts.

Now, as we enter Super Bowl weekend, Edelman is not only a punt returner, but he's a reliable receiver for Tom Brady as well as the team's best slot cornerback. 

Say what you want about the Patriots, considering that Edelman. someone that was drafted as a wide receiver, is the team's best slot cornerback—but he's getting the job done as well as the Patriots. 

This week has probably been quite the workout for Edelman, as he's taking snaps at slot receiver, cornerback and punt returner—but Bill Belichick has expressed his faith in Edelman and believes that he'll be ready to go for Super Bowl XLVI.

"Julian will be ready to go on everything as he always is. Based on game plan, and how it goes, we’ll see how that all turns out. He will be ready for all three phases.” 

Prior to the playoffs, no one actually knew how much faith New England's coaching staff had in Edelman, but when the AFC Championship came around, we all knew how much faith they had. 

In the team's final defensive drive in the AFC Championship against the Baltimore Ravens, Edelman was seen lining up opposite of Anquan Boldin in the slot. From a naked eye, this definitely seems rather odd but a backup wide receiver is covering Baltimore's top receiver, but to the Patriots, it makes perfect sense. 

Entering Super Bowl XLVI, Edelman will likely see a lot of playing time for the Patriots as he'll play his share of offensive snaps as well as spending a lot of his time on defense covering Mario Manningham, the New York Giants' slot wide receiver. 

Despite covering Boldin in the AFC Championship, no one outside of New England is giving Edelman any credit, not even Manningham:

"He plays wide receiver. He’s not a real defensive back. Did he get drafted as a defensive back? We have a little bond going on knowing that we can beat somebody. We’re confident. I hope he’s out there." 

When the media brought Manningham's comments to Edelman's attention, he did the classy thing and refused to respond as he'll do his talking on the field. 

Edelman vs. Manningham is going to be one key matchup in the Super Bowl, and this is something that we all need to pay attention to. 

It's a wide receiver who's giving his defender no credit while the defender is trying to make a career as a cornerback despite being a natural wide receiver—or a quarterback for that matter, as that's what he played at Kent State. 


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