The typical names have starred for the Vikings in their 2-0 start to the 2009 season. Adrian Peterson has 4 TDs, Brett Favre is playing well under center, E.J. Henderson looks to be back in form and Chad Greenway even hopped into the fray with a huge game at Detroit.
But one guy who tends to get lost in the shuffle of high-profile names in the Vikings defense – and especially along the defensive line – is DE Ray Edwards.
But so far in 2009, Edwards has been as big a part of the team’s success as anyone on the defense. Through 2 games, Edwards, who plays right left DE exclusively in the Vikings defense, has managed to tally 14 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Edwards’ productivity both in terms of tackles and sacks is a good sign for the Vikings. As the right left DE, Edwards is charged with rushing the passer, but he’s also relied upon to stand up strong against the run.
“I call that side a base end position, so he has to stand up against the run,” Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said on Monday. “I saw him make a bunch of chase plays that I don’t know if you guys (media) noticed. He turns and runs to the football and makes a share of hustle plays.”
Childress went on to say that Edwards has performed well both at the point of attack in the run game and in terms of applying pressure to the QB. His ability to progress as an NFL player and develop skills that have allowed him to be a 3-down player should be attributed to his on-field work ethic, but also his dedication to improving himself away from the gridiron.
“He’s a guy that usually has a good offseason with his body and takes care of it,” Childress explained. “He’s a guy that plays the game hard and has the stamina to be able to stay in there for all those plays.”
Edwards’ position coach, Karl Dunbar, had a similar sentiment regarding his starting right left DE.
“He’s come a long way,” Dunbar said of Edwards. “He has 14.5 career sacks, and as a fourth rounder, he’s progressing really well. He’s a strong, athletic kid and a strong football player.
“Ray has always played with a chip on his shoulder and you could tell that the first year he got here. He’s changed his body, he’s working out and doing those things, eating right. And it’s paying off for him on the field.”
Tags: Karl Dunbar
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