Thread: DE Ray Edwards
05-01-2006, 07:37 PM #41Pro-Bowler
- Join Date
- Dec 1969
Re: DE Ray Edwards
Nice article Singer. I just found this:
A little quote of the article:
Sure, Edwards could have stayed for his senior season and greatly improved his draft stock. But he said he didn't have a choice.
"When you come home from school on breaks and there's no food in the house really to eat and you have to go hang out with your friends to eat, it's kind of hard to stay in school,"
05-02-2006, 03:27 AM #42
Re: DE Ray Edwards
[size=18px]Only thing keeping Edwards from NFL success is himself[/size]
The fourth-round draft pick from Purdue has his critics, but the Vikings are convinced he has the talent to do well. It's up to him to meet their expectations.
Judd Zulgad, Star Tribune
Last update: May 01, 2006 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 12:30 AM
Ray Edwards might have been able to improve his draft stock if he had decided to play his senior season at Purdue this fall. But any thoughts the junior defensive end had of returning to school came to an end when he made the trip from West Lafayette, Ind., to visit family members in Cincinnati.
"When you come home from school on the breaks, and there's no food in the house really to eat, and you have to go hang out with your buddies to eat, it's kind of hard to stay in school," he said.
Edwards' desire to make sure his family always has food on the table took a big step toward becoming a reality Sunday when he was drafted by the Vikings in the fourth round. About the only thing that could stop Edwards now is ... well, Edwards.
There isn't much question about his abilities, but his desire is another issue. Pro Football Weekly's draft book was especially harsh in its criticism saying: "Plays soft. Scouts do not like his motor, production or personality." Ouch.
Edwards wasn't always seen in such a negative light. A semifinalist for the Ted Hendricks defensive end of the year award in 2004 after tying for second in the Big Ten with eight sacks, he lost his starting job after six games last season.
"It was a coaching [decision]," Edwards said. "I wasn't playing my greatest football at that time and that's the way it goes."
The Vikings, who project Edwards to play both defensive end positions, knew all about the supposed drawbacks surrounding him and also have checked on what happened at Purdue.
"He is a tremendous talent," said Scott Studwell, the Vikings' director of college scouting. "It's hard to say why, but I know there were some problems, there were some conflicts between he and the coaching staff. I think they made business personal, to be honest with you.
"Whether or not it was, he was saving himself. Whether or not, he really had some issues with the staff. That's something that [defensive coordinator] Mike Tomlin has already addressed with Ray. That's something [defensive line coach] Karl Dunbar has already addressed with Ray. We fully expect him to come in here and be a very compliant team player first. And that has already been stated to him."
Edwards, who met with the Vikings at the NFL combine in February, admits that last season was tough on him.
"It was kind of difficult, but what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger," he said. "Definitely just kept pushing on, just kept working, doing what I do."
It certainly wasn't the first time the 21-year-old Edwards faced adversity. A cousin of former NBA player Tyrone Hill, Edwards did not meet his father until he was 13 years old. He said his mother made "poor choices" and wasn't part of his life, either. Edwards was raised by his grandmother, Lavonia Beamon. "My grandmother works nights at Wal-Mart," Edwards said. "I want to put a stop to that."
He can do exactly that by proving he belongs on the Vikings roster. That's something coach Brad Childress expects. "With a 21-year-old coming out, is there a little bit of immaturity? Sure. But I think the upside of that guy is tremendous," he said. "We just think he has an upside, and we think he is a little bit immature. He has been told exactly what is expected of him in this situation."
Staff Writer Mark Craig contributed to this story.
Only thing keeping Edwards from NFL success is himself
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