With legalized gambling arriving in Massachusetts on Tuesday, Julian Edelman was at Encore Boston Harbor placing some bets at the sportsbook.
With a microphone in hand, Edelman declared he was putting $11,000 on the Celtics to win the NBA Championship this spring. Later, NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Giles caught up with the long-time New England wide receiver and asked if he’d place a bet on the Patriots to return to the playoffs in 2023.
“Yes,” Edelman said matter-of-factly.
“Billy O’Brien,” Edelman replied.
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Edelman spent three years alongside O’Brien on the Patriots practice field, so he knows the new offensive coordinator well. In 2022, Bill Belichick spent a ton of time with the offense as it was fused together with Matt Patricia and Joe Judge. That was out of character. Edelman believes O’Brien’s presence will free Belichick up to go back to doing what he does best.
“(O’Brien) is a tough coach. He’s going to tell you how he sees it. But the thing that I like about Billy O. is that it’s going to allow Coach Belichick to really focus on everything else on the team,” Edelman said. “It felt like little things were slipping away this last year. Little details that you always see. Special teams. Situational-type football. A lot of brain farts.
“So Billy O. being there, it allows Bill (Belichick) to sit there and say, ‘All right, I know what Billy O. is. He’s a former head coach. I can bounce ideas off him.’ But (Belichick) can think of the macro now. He can focus on the macro. And that’s why Bill is the best, because he usually can do that. I think he had his foot in it last year, so it was taking him away from those little things here and there.”