FOXBORO — The anonymous spring and summer banter from inside the confines of the Gillette Stadium walls warned us there would be days like these.
They warned us about fourth-year veteran receiver Julian Edelman.
Edelman was officially more than little college kid (Kent State), chipping in whenever he could.
Edelman was, we were informed secretly, Tom Brady’s new best friend, that they couldn’t get enough of each other (of course, when Gisele allowed him) on some practice field in California or Foxboro last spring.
They warned us that the consummate slot receiver, Wes Welker and his hefty $9.5 million “franchise tag” salary, had some competition coming his way.
It sounded semi-plausible. We had seen sporadic glimpses of Edelman making people miss and making plays.
The problem was that by the time the 2012 season was two months old, few if anybody believed the “Edelman hype.” We have been watching this defensive-back-challenged team for nearly three months and the only time we heard his name was “Edelman plays seven snaps” and “Edelman is ruled out because of his hand injury.”
Well, last night have been a game-changer, or better yet, a life-changer in assessing Edelman.
Last night was the stuff of legends. Or at least, ex-Patriots legends. Last night, Edelman gave Troy Brown, the consummate Patriot, a run for his money.
Edelman finished last night’s 59-24 blowout of the Indianapolis Colts with 222 all-purpose yards — rushing (47), receiving (58) and punt returns (117) — to go with his two touchdowns.
In fact, he was three yards away, on his 47-yard run on a reverse, from a third touchdown.
“It was unfortunate that I didn’t get in,” said a weary Edelman, still wearing his jersey while sitting on a chair in front of his locker. “But it set up a touchdown ... and it kind of put it away. So that was good.”