Julian Edelman shares Bill Belichick's message for Patriots ballcarriers

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Edelman reveals what Belichick tells his players about ball security originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

If you want a glimpse inside Fort Knox, Julian Edelman is willing to provide it.

The former New England Patriots wide receiver has a new retirement gig as an analyst for "Inside the NFL" on Paramount Plus alongside Phil Simms, Brandon Marshall and host James Brown.

During Tuesday's episode, Edelman revealed a new segment based entirely on a message he heard repeatedly from head coach Bill Belichick in New England: "What are we doing?"

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"What he used to say was, basically, ‘What are we doing out here?’ when there was any kind of bad fundamentals or bad football," Edelman explained while doing his best nasally Belichick imitation. "He was on a mission, as he would quote, to 'stomp out bad football.' And to lead into that he would always be like, ‘What are are we doing out here?"

Edelman's segment focuses on examples of bad football -- and the ex-wideout kicked things off by calling out his former team, which committed eight penalties and fumbled four times (losing two) in a 17-16 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 1.

"That’s what Bill always says: 'You can’t win until you keep from losing,' Edelman said. "So you know they’re gonna hear it for that."

Belichick has always emphasized protecting the football, to the point where he placed some pretty high stakes in players keeping the ball off the ground.

"There’s a premium for keeping the ball in your hand in New England," Edelman said. "I remember Bill Belichick used to say, ‘When you are carrying the football, you’re not only carrying the football for the team and everyone in the building, but you’re carrying it for everyone in the region. The fate is in your hands.'"

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That's a pretty dramatic message for a head coach who refuses to look past next week's game. But it's a sign of how important ball security is to Belichick -- and may explain why rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson was benched Sunday after fumbling on his lone carry.

Edelman will be on "Inside the NFL" every Tuesday, and this episode was any indication, he should provide some unique insight into how Belichick communicates with his players.