Edwards and Leber both have experience playing over the tight end, and that experience in pass defense will be used this year as well.
"We originally talked about it a year ago but made the decision to leave Junior where he was and insert Donnie into the middle because he had played there before," Schottenheimer said. "But given his athletic ability and skills, I think Donnie's better suited to play the (weak-side) 'backer position, and I know he's more comfortable there."
"I can play both positions, so it's really not a big deal," Edwards said. "Whatever is going to best help our team, that's fine with me."
Schottenheimer said Zeke Moreno, Carlos Polk and rookie Matt Wilhelm will battle for the middle linebacker job.
"I played the middle in college, so I've had a taste of everything," said Moreno. "It's just a matter of getting down my reads."
Jamal Williams returned to the field yesterday five months after Broncos guard Steve Herndon hit him with an illegal block.
"It's always a challenge mentally when you have an injury of that sort," Williams said, "but the major challenge is getting over it. You mope about it for a week, but after that week, you need to focus on trying to get healthy."
The return of Williams is just one of the promising signs for th coming year. Williams takes pressure off the end by commanding double teams in the middle and freeing up his linebackers in run support. It was good to see him back on the field.
"You can get butterflies when you see guys like LaDainian Tomlinson and David Boston, Doug Flutie and all those guys," said Sammy Davis. "It can be a little intimidating seeing those guys, but you have to put it all behind you and go out there and play."
"I was both excited and nervous, really," said Matt Wilhelm. "Once I found my comfort zone and I was picking up the defenses, I started to settle down."
"I don't know if they were nervous so much as excited to be out there on an NFL practice field for the first time," said David Boston. "I know when I had the opportunity to do that in Arizona as a rookie, I was really excited. A lot of the veterans are leaders on this team, and I think it's good for the rookies to see them and learn from them. It's a great learning experience."
"Do more, say less," said Lorenzo Neal referring to the rookies in camp. "Find out what people want and give them plenty of it. Work hard, and just do your job and don't try to do anything more than that. Just play with your heart and your emotions and you'll go far in this league."
Drew Brees hopes to be ready for minicamp in June. He had calcium deposits in his leg removed.
Marcellus Wiley and Leonardo Carson were held out of practice.
Toniu Fonoti switched from right guard to left guard, with Kelvin Garmon manning the other side. It was an experiment by Hudson Houck and not expected to last.
Veterans have the rest of the weekend off, while the rookies will continue through the weekend.
Edwards, Darren Bennett and David Binn were aboard the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln for President Bush's historic visit on Thursday.
"It's nice when the president calls you 'a big guy,' '' Edwards said. "He kept saying how big I was. Little did he know how small I am compared to my peers.''