NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas
The punt return is an overlooked intermediary. It symbolizes the end of one offensive drive and the beginning of another. It is an exchange of possession that leaves one man fielding a fly ball against tacklers with a 50-yard head start.
And for New England Patriots wide receiver and return man Julian Edelman, it is an art.
With 1,242 yards on 98 career attempts, the 2009 seventh-round draft pick out of Kent State finds himself fifth all-time and first among active NFL players with a 12.7 return average. Edelman has cracked off gains of 68, 72 and 94 yards over the last four seasons on his way to three touchdowns.
Yet what’s lost in those numbers is what it takes to attain them.
It takes all 11 players to break one. (more…)