Versatile Edelman earns praise from McDaniels

Versatile Edelman earns praise from McDaniels
September 9, 2013, 3:00 pm
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You can use a few words to describe the Patriots offensive display on Sunday, but one of them certainly could be this: expected.

New England struggled through most of the game to string together successful drives in a consecutive manner.

Sure, you can look at the final numbers, see 446 yards of total offense and wonder where there's a problem. But if you watched the game, you know some things were off here and there.

Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels knows that. He can (and will) tell you that the Patriots had success on 3rd down. Overall, they were 11 of 20 on third down, and 18 of their 26 first downs did come through the air. But he also knows that there's work to be done to get Tom Brady and his receivers more comfortable with each other.

"I think we did some decent things," McDaniels said. "Certainly had a good production in third down, which is always a critical element of the game. Made some key catches there on that down, and in the second half especially. Had some chunk plays that we were able to create. I don't remember the total number yet, eight or nine plays over 20 yards or over 19 yards yesterday in the game, which you always try for look for opportunities to do that. Certainly we missed some opportunities that we did have, whether it was down the field play, or intermediate-type routes, some short ones, we missed some opportunities to capitalize on some opportunities in the passing game there too."

Almost lost in the game was the performance of Julian Edelman, the Patriots veteran receiver and punt returner who has also played on defense in the past. Edelman can do a little bit of everything, but on Sunday he proved to be Tom Brady's favorite end zone target - perhaps by default - in finishing with 7 receptions for 79 yards and 2 touchdowns. It was Edelman's first multi-touchdown game of his career, and his most targets (9) and receptions since the final game of his rookie season.

"Well Julian has always been a versatile guy for us. He's been able to play multiple positions," McDaniels said. "He's a tough player, he's a tough competitor. He can make plays on the perimeter, he can go inside and do some of those things inside that we ask him to do. Yesterday he came up with quite a few big catches for us, and certainly a few big plays down there in the end zone on third down that were really critical for us. Jules is a guy who works hard. Tries to go in and do the best at everything we ask him to do. He's always prepared for the games and tried to make the most of his opportunities. Yesterday I thought he really helped us."