Julian Edelman was extremely effective as his first season as the team's go-to receiver. (USA TODAY Images)
Taking a quick snapshot of what Julian Edelman accomplished last season, it's interesting to take a look at his numbers over the course of his 105 catches in 2013.
We saw big things from Edelman in his first season in an expanded role, with the receiver finishing not only as the team's overall leading receiver with 1056 yards and a team best 6 touchdowns, but he was also their leading third down receiver with 30 receptions for 247 yards including 18 first downs and 3 touchdowns.
Overall last season he was also effective in helping move the chains, accumulating a team-best 54 first downs in 2013.
Here's a breakdown of his reception totals from last season by distance:
0 or less yards: 3 receptions
1-5 yards: 29 receptions
6-10 yards: 37 receptions
Over 10-yards up to 20-yards: 27 receptions
Over 20-yards and up to 30-yards: 5 receptions
Over 30-yards and up to 40-yards: 2 receptions
Over 40-yards and up to 50-yards: 2 receptions
Over 50 yards: 0 receptions
Edelman lead the team in receptions of over 20-yards among wide receivers in 2013 after finishing with 9, with tight end Rob Gronkowski as the only player who had more (he had 10).
One of the biggest surprises was the difference in yardage over every other receiver in the fourth quarter last season. Edelman finished 2013 with 410 yards receiving during the fourth quarter, significantly more than the next closest receiver, which was Aaron Dobson with 249 yards. Edelman also had three fourth quarter touchdowns, the most of any other receiver.
Edelman's biggest performance of the season came in Week 15 down in Miami where he finished with 8 receptions on 12 targets in a tough loss against Miami that cost them the top seed in the playoffs.
It was an impressive performance in his first year taking on a bigger role in this offense. Now the bigger question will be how he'll follow that up in 2014, which will obviously be something to watch for during the upcoming season.
TRAINING CAMP DATES, JOINT PRACTICES ANNOUNCED:
The team announced the dates for the first practices of next month's training camp, with the Patriots set to begin practice on Thursday July 24th, one day after veterans are required to report. From there they'll hold practices on Friday July 25th, Saturday July 26th, and Sunday July 27th.
They'll also hold joint practices with both the Redskins and Eagles in advance of their exhibition match-ups. The Redskins announced the sessions will be held on August 4th-6th in Richmond, Virginia, while the sessions against the Eagles will take place from August 12-13 at Gillette Stadium.
This is the second straight year the team will hold sessions with the Eagles, which were held last year in Philadelphia. They also practiced against the Buccaneers last year at Gillette Stadium prior to their preseason game.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden told reporters recently that he felt the sessions give them a chance to work against some better competition.
"It's a great opportunity for us to see how our players both offensive line, how we pick up different stunts and different fronts and defensive line, different blocking schemes, obviously route combinations against different coverages and different type meets in the secondary," said Gruden. "And how people adjust and how our quarterback adjusts and how they see things, so it's good for everybody."
ALEX MARVEZ TALKS ABOUT MINICAMP REACTIONS:
Marvez gave a quick rundown on all 32 teams in a piece released on Monday, with a quick synopsis on each one. When it came to the Patriots, Marvez talked about the status of Ryan Mallett and the speculation surrounding his future, while he believes that potential free agent Michael Bush could be a possibility to join the running back group by the time training camp arrives.
"Will the Patriots seek to sign a big-bodied running back before the regular season to fill the opening created by the free agent departure of LeGarrette Blount to Pittsburgh? One option could be 245-pound veteran Michael Bush, who took a free-agent visit early this offseason. Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden - smaller backs all in the final year of their contracts - are the current leaders to head a committee approach for New England in 2014."
Marvez also points out the fact that what's complicated the situation with Mallett is the fact the Houston Texans went with the University of Pittsburgh's Tom Savage in Round 4 as their hopeful quarterback of the future.
Former Patriot and Jets RB Curtis Martin Says Patriots Having Playbook a Big Advantage
Since Greg Bedard wrote his MMQB article on Browns head coach Mike Pettine where the coach had an anecdote with a comment from Brady suggesting the Patriots had a copy of the Jets' playbook, it's been downplayed by most people who believe it wouldn't be a big advantage.
However, former Jets RB Curtis Martin disagrees, and feels it would be a tremendous advantage.
"Oh, tremendously, to be honest with you," Martin told ESPN.com at the Big Daddy Celebrity Golf Classic at Oheka Castle in Huntington, New York. "What most people don't understand is that football is a science. There are little signals and little movements from one person that can give an indication on where the entire play is going. I think it can have a tremendous effect on a game. If we're playing chess and I understand all of your moves before you make them, my probability of winning is pretty high."
Martin historically has remained loyal to all things related to the Jets, and it appears his opinions remain protective of the uniform despite efforts by current coach Rex Ryan, who has since defended Bill Belichick.
JAMES DEVELIN GETS SOME WORK AT TE DURING MINI CAMPS:
An interesting note from Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal, who pointed out that fullback James Develin recently spent some time during mini camp getting work in at the tight end position.
How much work did he see? According to Daniels, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw to him more times than he did Michael Hoomanwanui. Brady also had praise for Develin, who he said also brings a great attitude into the locker room.
“James is great. I love being out here with him. He’s been such a great player, performer for our team,” Brady said. “Whatever role we’ve asked of him, he’s done it to the best he possibly can do. He brings a great attitude, emotion. He’s a positive guy. He’s a great teammate in the locker room. I can’t say enough great things about him. He’s been such a great person and player for this team. Every time you put him out there, good things happen, so it’s fun to be a part of that.”
Most people remember Develin's best moment, and this TD run which was certainly one of the more memorable plays for the Patriots:
DOLPHINS MAY BE WITHOUT POUNCEY VS PATRIOTS:
With the Patriots set to battle the Dolphins in week one, it sounds like Miami might be a little weaker on their offensive line thanks to an injury to one of their key players.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, center Mike Pouncey is anticipated to miss "at least three months" after undergoing hip surgery on Monday. He reportedly has a three-month recovery timetable, which likely may mean he won't be available when the Patriots open the season down in Miami on Sunday, September 7th.
That's a good sign for a Patriots team who got after Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill quite a bit last season, sacking him 10 times in 2013, the most of any quarterback within their Division.
“Yeah, I’ve always had okay hands. Decent. I’m always working on them and trying to go out there and catch every ball that comes my way. That goes along with every part of my game. I’ve got to be the best in every aspect and try to do what I need to do to help the team win.” - James Develin via Mark Daniels, Providence Journal
“He’s definitely out there with something to prove because of all the guys getting the big contracts, and he was down in Tampa Bay as a forgotten guy. He’s still thinking, ‘Wait a minute, I’m still top dog.’ And he wants to win, that’s the most important thing.” - Ty Law via the Boston Globe on cornerback Darrelle Revis