Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and his older brother — Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce — host a weekly podcast called “New Heights.” The title is an homage to the Cleveland Heights, Ohio, neighborhood in which they grew up.
In the latest episode, the Kelce brothers welcome former New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman to talk about his career, “the Patriot way” and some of his former team’s most legendary players.
Warning: this episode is as crass as they come — but it’s pretty dang funny, too.
“New Heights” with Jason & Travis Kelce | Jukes Original Presented by Wave Sports + Entertainment | You can also listen to the show on Spotify.
1. Edelman talks about retirement
People always talk about what players do once they are no longer suiting up on Sundays. Some players find that transitioning from being professional athletes to normal human beings is a struggle. But that doesn’t seem to be the case for Edelman.
“It’s a whirlwind,” he said. “I was talking to Trav before. You know, you miss when you could say ‘no’ to things. You had a set schedule all the time, because you had organized team activities [and] you had mini-camps. Now I have to go to weddings! I have to go to podcasts!”
Jokes aside, Edelman said that it’s been great — because he’s been able to pursue new interests, like being a TV analyst and starting his own production company: Coast Productions. But it doesn’t end there.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “I’m getting a lot more time with my family — with my little girl. I moved back out here [to California] to be with her.”
2. Gronk is a genius?
If you judge a person by their booze-fueled, EDM (Electronic Dance Music) shirtless bro music festivals — and horrible acting — then you wouldn’t ever associate the word “genius” with someone like former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. But according to Edelman, that’s exactly what he is. According to Edelman, you can throw any numbers to Gronkowski — and he can solve the math problem in his head.
“The crazy thing about Gronk is,” claimed Edelman, “Gronk is low-key like ‘Rain Man.’ He can throw numbers out there... When the coach would get on him early in his career, he would never make that mistake again. [Gronkowski’s] football knowledge is outrageous. If he sees it once — and he does it — it’s there for good. That’s just how he was. He’s like a savant.”
Now this was also early in the tight end’s playing days. He’s taken a few shots since then.
3. It took years for Edelman to gain Brady’s trust
Unshockingly, former New England (and, you know, seven-time Super Bowl-winning) quarterback Tom Brady doesn’t just automatically trust every seventh-round pick who played quarterback in college to know the route tree and be where they are supposed to be on every play.
“It took me years to gain his trust,” said Edelman. “That was the thing with Brady — when you’re a f—ing technician who’s been doing it at a high level for such a long time. He already had 11 years in the league when I got there. He had three Super Bowl [wins].”
Edelman said Brady has no patience for players who don’t take the game as seriously as he does.
“When you’re a guy like that, you don’t want to waste time,” he observed. “Every rep is something to those guys. So they want things done a certain way — right away — the way it needs to be done. And if you don’t, they’re just [like], ‘I’m done with that! Gimme someone else who knows what they’re doing!’
“You have a built-in pressure, like, ‘Oh, sh-t! I can’t f—k this up as a young player!’ It took me years to get comfortable. It took me reps with him — [of] which I didn’t get a lot with the team.”
BONUS: Edelman’s history with Hall of Fame wide receivers — and their moms and daughters