Julian Edelman Explains How Jerry Rice Has Been ‘Huge Inspiration’ to Patriots WR

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman learned so much from San Francisco 49ers legend Jerry Rice. The latter had a huge impact on Edelman’s performance.

Edelman was raised in the Bay Area and he was a San Francisco fan, rooting for Joe Montana, Steve Young, Ronnie Lott, and Rice, of course.

The Patriots will have the third game against the Niners since Edelman was selected in 2009. New England is getting ready for the Week 7 match, and San Francisco comes from a nice win against the Rams. Edelman didn’t play in 2012 but had 7 receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown in the 2016 win.

In Friday’s video press conference, the wideout talked about the inspiration he found in Rice. Yes, he provided some really cool details.

“I would definitely say Jerry Rice has been a huge inspiration on me as a football player and work ethic, him and my father,” the 2018 Super Bowl MVP said. “Growing up in Redwood City, they had Edgewood Park and there was Jerry Rice Hill. It was the folk lore. It was known that Jerry Rice used to go out and run that hill. And everyone knew about his work ethic, him going out and catching bricks and outworking people and never taking time off and really taking his craft seriously.

“Growing up around his family — he was so busy with football, it wasn’t anything like me being able to break down or ask any questions, I was too terrified of him because he was the GOAT. He was a god in our area. But he’s definitely been an inspiration for his work ethic and how seriously he took his craft.”

Julian Edelman respects Jerry Rice

Edelman is impressed with Rice’s work ethic and dedication to training. He also shared a story Rice told him back then. Rice had a good year then and wanted to lose 5-10 pounds after the season. He was starving and running a lot. That’s what makes him so special. That’s what makes him a legend.

“I think Jerry kind of was a pioneer for the professional athlete of nowadays,” Edelman added. “Now everyone is so specialized in training and this and dieticians and their craft. Jerry was doing that — Mr. Rice was doing that in the ‘80s before it was so popularized like it is now. He’s been a huge inspiration to me. It’s an honor to even be near anything of his in any kind of thing.”

Rice has most wide receiver records. This includes career receiving yards and receiving TDs. Most analysts agree that no player can match these numbers.

The Patriots wideout is pretty close to two of Rice’s playoff records. He has 118 career postseason receptions and ranks No.2 all-time behind Rice and his 151. Edelman ranks No.2 all-time with his 1,442 career playoff receiving yards. Rice has 2,245.