WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — It’s late Saturday morning six days after the greatest football day of Julian Edelman’s life, and you can feel L.A. here in his West Coast residence. Through a broad window on the second floor of Edelman’s bright and art nouveau home off Sunset Boulevard, a billboard a few blocks above traffic to the south screams an ad for Sunday’s Grammy Awards. Apt. Edelman would be a Grammys presenter.
It’s pretty unbelievable, Edelman being a beautiful person in Hollywood right now, on the red carpet with Drake and Lady Gaga.
You know where Edelman was 10 years ago this week? Trying to re-invent himself at a well-worn gym in Euclid, Ohio, for an NFL roster shot, maybe going to some team’s camp as a scrappy receiver, running back or safety. His more likely options: trying out as an option quarterback in Canada for the B.C. Lions … or becoming a fire-fighter in Cincinnati.
You know where Edelman was five months ago this week? In exile in Boston, separated from his team by a four-game PED suspension, working out at the Boston Celtics facility after dawn and then simulating the Patriots practices he was missing on football fields at Harvard and Boston College.
You know where Edelman was one week ago? Posing as the Super Bowl MVP with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
You know where Edelman was four days ago? Getting his foresty nine-month-old beard shaved on national TV by Ellen DeGeneres, to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston.
Been quite a week, year, decade. But there’s a reason Edelman, 32, is the perfect Patriot. He’s already talking about winning a seventh Super Bowl, when the sixth still hasn’t sunk in.
Ten catches (eight for first downs), 141 yards. MVP numbers in the Super Bowl. Edelman would have been surprised, honestly, if the day produced much less. In his previous 11 playoff games, he caught 10, 8, 9, 9, 10, 7, 8, 8, 5, 9, and 7 passes from Brady.
Edelman: “Did I think I’d have 10 catches? Going into the week, with the game plan we had, and how they played defense and going against [Rams defensive coordinator] Wade Phillips a few times … the running back or guys in my position have a lot of catches. You go in thinking that there’s a possibility you could have a game. With a solid week of practice, two weeks of practice that we had, I felt great. Confidence was high. Thinking on it right now, I wasn’t surprised. The MVP? Didn’t really think about that. Didn’t really think that that was gonna come to fruition.”
But he had a game-week conversation with McDaniels in which, according to Edelman, the coordinator said to him: “You’re going to have to perform well for us to win.” Edelman didn’t have a signature catch, but he did convert four catches into first downs on Rams ace corner Aqib Talib. But Edelman did say he’s got too much in front of him as a player to back-pat about the MVP.
“Down the road, when I’m having a beer in Tahiti when I’m 44 and my daughter’s running around on the beach, that’s when I can probably sit back and think about that,” he said.