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