ATLANTA -- Love is a strong word. It is likely overused on television and in our society in general. If, however, there are two players on the Pats that Tom Brady loves it is Julian Edelman and Brian Hoyer. Brady regards Julian Edelman as a little brother. At first, it might be a challenge to develop a strong bond with Brady. Once those bonds develop, they can last a longtime. Brady took a trip down memory lane on Saturday.
"Yeah, we have a great relationship, Jules [Julian Edelman] and I, and I trust him so much. We’ve put in so many hours together in the meeting room, in the film room. I think obviously he and I go back a long way. Him going to CSM [College of San Mateo] and my relationship with Tom Martinez going back to CSM and then from Redwood City to Kent State, which is close to Michigan, and then drafted here, played receiver but he was a quarterback. He’s always been kind of like my little brother, in a good way. I don’t have a little brother but he’s kind of like a little brother and he knows how much I love him."
What he’s done with his career has been incredible and he’s so impressive as a player, as a leader – to go from playing quarterback in college to receiver in the pros and then to become really a dominant receiver in the pros, I think speaks to his work ethic. I’m so happy in everything that he achieves and obviously I can’t say enough good things about Jules," Brady said
Chris Hogan told Pats Maven on Saturday that Wes Welker and Edelman are two of the best slot receivers ever to play the game. Hogan would have no problem considering either for the Hall of Fame. Edelman and Jerry Rice are the only two players to have more than 100 catches in the playoffs. Rice told the Athletics's Jeff Howe that it is time slot receivers get consideration. Rice has 151 postseason catches and Edelman has 103 postseason catches.
:"Yeah, it’s really beyond incredible for Jules to do that. When you talk about Jerry Rice, that’s a guy that’s set every receiving record in the history of the NFL basically. For Jules to be right there as one of two guys including him, again it’s just such a credit to Jules. Look at his stature. He wasn’t built like Megatron [Calvin Johnson]. He’s just built the way he was built and I think he’s just worked so hard over the years to learn how to play receiver. I think his quarterback background’s probably helped him in terms of knowing where to be, knowing how to get open and knowing when the quarterback wants to get rid of the ball. He’s just done an incredible job," Brady said.
The Patriots signed Brian Hoyer as an undrafted rookie in 2009. Hoyer was released after the 2011 season and bounced around with seven different teams before returning to the Patriots last year. No one was happier to have Hoyer back than Tom Brady when he returned after Jimmy Garoppolo was traded. The two often compete in practice with drills like who can throw the most footballs into a trash can. Such a bond can be rare for Brady who often prefers to keep a professional relationship with his teammates.
"It’s really great. We’ve obviously had a long friendship and we’ve hit it off since he got here and then he left for a bunch of years and we always kept in touch. It’s just been great to have him back. I’ve always just really enjoyed my time with him. He’s got a great mannerism about him. He’s very positive. It’s really great for me to have him here because he’s always encouraging. He’s just a great teammate to have, not only his role in his position, he always just has a great understanding of what we do. I lean on him for a lot of things and he’s a great friend. He’ll always be a great friend. Obviously I love him being in that position," Brady said.