When the New England Patriots drafted wide receiver Julian Edelman, a quarterback out of Kent State, in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL draft, there was always an expectation that he would throw a pass one day.
Six years later, Edelman finally got his chance to be an NFL quarterback on a double-pass trick play from quarterback Tom Brady that Edelman threw downfield to wide receiver Danny Amendola for a 51-yard touchdown.
“We were saving it for whenever [offensive coordinator] Coach [Josh] McDaniels called it,” Edelman said during his weekly interview with Boston sports radio station WEEI. “It may have been [brought up four or five years ago], but you have to see me throw the ball now. It’s pretty atrocious.”
Edelman’s throw was far from atrocious, as he delivered a perfect strike that fans had been waiting for years to see.
“I was a quarterback so you are trying to hit him in the head, get the right mechanic there,” Edelman said.
When Edelman made the team in 2009, no one thought he would wind up playing cornerback before throwing a pass.
Edelman has practiced throwing passes with his gloves on to prepare for a moment like the one in Saturday’s 35-31 win over the Ravens.
“It was more of we would throw it out there every once in a while in practice and if we executed it properly or if we got the look or if that defense did that, we were going to use it,” Edelman said. “We’ve had it for a little bit and the coaches dialed it up.”
Edelman tried to downplay his touchdown pass.
“There’s been so many other receivers that have thrown a ball like that too,” Edelman said. The last receiver to do so in the postseason was Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, a college quarterback at Indiana, on a 43-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward in Super Bowl XL.
The play on Saturday, named “Edels to Dola,” even led Edelman to create a T-shirt.
Edelman enjoyed his opportunity to throw a pass in the NFL, but he was quick to turn the page to the Colts during his interview.
“We’ve got to move on now,” Edelman said. “We’re on to Indy.”