Sep 21, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) evades a tackle by Oakland Raiders fullback Marcel Reece (45) during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooer-USA TODAY Sports
Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady does not have the most robust receiving corps to throw to, but continues to have mainstays like Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman running routes for him. In fact, Edelman has the 8th most catches (44) and 7th most targets (65) so far this season. It’s pretty evident that Edelman and Brady’s rapport is one of the best in the league. Let’s take a look at the film to show an example.
In New England’s Thursday night game against the Jets, the Patriots were backed up in their own territory on a 1st and 15. The Patriots utilize a maxium protection screen off of play action and only send two receivers out on routes (LaFell and Edelman). LaFell runs a short motion towards the core of the formation before releasing up the seam to stretch the defense. His route stretches the secondary vertically in order to allow Edelman to work underneath the top of the defense. Edelman runs a double move, first stemming the route towards the post before snapping it off to the sideline.
Edelman has great footwork to really sell his route stems, as demonstration on this play. On his first move, Edelman gets the CB (Adams) to open his hips inside when he stems to the Post. This is key because Adams is completely out of position when Edelman breaks his route outside.
The rapport between Brady and Edelman is also on display as they time up the route perfectly. Brady throws the ball towards the sideline when Edelman makes his second cut. The football is right on target to the receiver’s upfield shoulder and Edelman can again exhibit his nifty footwork by dragging his second foot before stepping out of bounds.