AOL Exclusive Interview: Julian Edelman speaks about NFL Apparel, Junior Seau and new concussion protocol

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By JOHN DORN

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is coming off a championship season for the first time in his career. As the Pats look to gear up and defend their title in 2015, Edelman has another responsibility on his hands: He, along with Green Bay Packers receiver Jordy Nelson, is the face of NFL Apparel's 2015 line of men's clothing -- which is available on NFLShop.com.

AOL spoke with Edelman recently to discuss the new endeavor, Junior Seau's legacy and the upcoming season.


How did you first get involved with the NFL Apparel campaign?

I believe they contacted us. I heard the NFL was going to try and step up their game in apparel to wear not just on gameday -- make it look cooler and not just market it toward gameday stuff. Like going out. You can do stuff like that. I thought it was a good partnership and opportunity to work together. It's been exciting to be a part of it.


When they first contacted you, were you surprised?

I wasn't surprised -- we've got a great brand. The NFL does a great job, and they're kind of expanding. It's the next step, the next level. Not just going to the local bar and being able to wear just your patriots shirt. You go into a cool club and wear a Patriots shirt as well -- something like that. Have a different style with it. I'm not surprised and I definitely believe they're doing a good job with it.


How would you describe your style off the field?

I like simple things. I like the high-end fashions. I like to keep it semi-simple, I don't like it too loud. Shirts, types of jeans and all that stuff -- I keep those pretty regular and pretty basic on colors and just trying to keep it classic. But I also try to use little details and little things to make outfits pop. If you're dressing in a suit, you know, a cool pocket square, but a simple cool pocket square that makes the colors pop. Or types of jewelry -- what type of jewelry you have on -- bracelet, what kind of bracelet you have on along with the watch. With the sock and the shoe, I don't like it too loud, but you can do little things to make it subtle. So that's the kind of style I go with.

Or, when you go out, Friday night in Boston, a nice pair of jeans -- a nice fitted pair of jeans -- along with some kind of shoe to make it pop, along with a simple shirt and a cool jacket. So that's the kind of style I try to go for.



Have there been any cool photoshoots or moments?

Wearing the product in Boston, we had a cool photoshoot doing that. You tip your hat to the NFL doing these cool magazines like GQ, Esquire -- it's just cool to be a part of it and see that it's looking cool.


What can we expect to see from you with NFL apparel?

I don't know what to expect. What I can tell you is that I'm excited to be a part of it and wear the product, because they're coming out with some cool stuff that I get to wear all the time. And you don't feel goofy wearing it in certain areas. So that's what I'm looking for. Whatever they wanna do with it, they'll do with it. I's gonna be a fun experience and I'm excited to see where it goes.


The most prominent hall of fame induction that took place last night was that of Junior Seau. Your rookie season in 2009 was his last season with the Patriots before retiring. Where there any moments specifically that you remember of him being around the team, or maybe anything he said to you particularly that you remember?

Oh, yeah. Junior Seau was in my life for a very short time, but it's unbelievable to see the amount of impact that he has on people. I was a rookie, seventh-round draft pick. Junior Seau as a California kid, I loved him. I grew up loving Junior Seau. The guy is playing forever, and he goes up to you the first day and he calls you Buddy Buddy and makes you feel comfortable.

I remember one story where I was taking my parents out for the very first time in Boston -- this nice restaurant -- and Junior is there. He takes time out of his dinner to come and talk to my folks, and tell them how they've done a great job of raising me. It's stuff like that that makes Junior a great guy. The way he lived -- it was unreal. It's awesome that he's at where he's at -- the Hall of Fame -- he deserves to be there. One of the best football players I've ever played with. It was a privilege and an honor for me to get to play with him.


One of the rule changes for this season is that concussion spotters will have the power to stop the game if they see a player showing symptoms on the field. How do you feel about this change?

The NFL is gonna do what they always feel is best for the safety of the player. It makes it a safer game. there's always pros to it, so we'll see how it goes. It's still new. It's gonna be different, but we always adjust. I think it'll be alright.


This year's camp started a little over a week ago, but you guys have your first preseason game in a few days. How has camp gone so far, and what are your expectations for this season, coming off a championship year last year?

Camp is camp. Guys are out there trying to improve each day. It's always about trying to take things from the classroom and transition them into drills and transition drills into team periods and just building your team. So it's the same -- coach is very good at keeping us in the right mindset, trying to keep everything about improving and that's what we're doing.

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AOL Exclusive Interview: Julian Edelman speaks about NFL Apparel, Junior Seau and new concussion protocol
KENT, OH - SEPTEMBER 30, 2006: Quarterback Julian Edelman #11 of the Kent State Golden Flashes throws a pass during a game against the Akron Zips on September 30, 2006 at Dix Stadium in Kent, Ohio. Kent State won 37-15. (Photo by: Tom Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - 2009: Julian Edelman of the New England Patriots poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by NFL Photos)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - CIRCA 2010: In this handout image provided by the NFL, Julian Edelman of the New England Patriots poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH - MAY 2: Julian Edelman #11 participates in a drill during the New England Patriots Minicamp at Gillette Stadium May 2, 2009 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 10: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots looks on against the Baltimore Ravens during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Ravens won 33-14. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
ATLANTA - AUGUST 19: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots relaxes on the bench during a preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on August 19, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Patriots won 28-10. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH - NOVEMBER 21: After the Patriots Julian Edelman (#11) returned a third quarter punt return 72 yards for a touchdown that put New England ahead 24-3, he got congratulations from head coach Bill Belichick, with special teams coach Scott O'Brien waiting his turn at far left. The New England Patriots hosted the Kansas City Chiefs in a Monday Night Football NFL regular season game at Gillette Stadium. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 14: Julian Edelman runs during the New England Patriots practice at the practice field at Gillette Stadium. (Photo by Bill Greene/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 11: Julian Edelman at practice as the New England Patriots prepare for their upcoming game Sunday against Seattle. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 6: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots warms up before a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on October 6, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 29: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots watches the action against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on September 29, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 8: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates the game-winning touchdown with Julian Edelman #11 in the 4th quarter at Gillette Stadium on December 8, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 15: New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (#11) takes a 24-yard catch and run, breaking several tackles en route to scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter to bring the score to 20-17 with the extra point try. The New England Patriots take on the Miami Dolphins at SunLife Stadium. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - NOVEMBER 1: New England Patriots Julian Edelman celebrates his punt return touchdown with teammate Tom Brady against the Denver Broncos during second quarter action at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, November 1, 2014. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 12: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots and Tom Brady #12 look on from the bench during NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 12, 2014 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 05: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots attempts to catch a pass during the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium on October 5, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Wide receiver Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots warms up prior to Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 27: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots addresses the media at Super Bowl XLIX Media Day Fueled by Gatorade inside U.S. Airways Center on January 27, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 18: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots celebrates after defeating the Indianapolis Colts in the 2015 AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 18, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Colts 45-7. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots gets ready for Super Bowl XLIX between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 30: The New England Patriots held their first day of training camp at the practice filed next to Gillette Stadium. Julian Edelman walks on to the field. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots looks on against the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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