Edwards finds home in San Diego

The words that characterized the San Diego native were "too small" or "undersized". But current Chargers' linebacker Donnie Edwards has played very big – especially over each of the last three weeks.

On how he has been so successful:

I am too small. I am undersized. I just play. I pride myself on my durability because everyone said, ‘oh, he is too small he is never going to last in this league and these past couple of games I had 100 straight games.

It is pretty exciting to show them wrong.

On his expectations as a player:

I have very high expectations for myself. I expect to make every tackle. That is what I think and that is what I strive for. That is why you see my running sideline-to-sideline all the time trying to make something happen. I just give maximum effort.

On who he gave the ball he returned for a touchdown to:

Edwards gave the ball to his brother so he could forward it to his aunt, Yvonne Dykes, a woman he called "an inspirational part of my life. She was always there for me."

On what is different over the past few weeks:

This is a new scheme for me. I never played in a 3-4 before with a lot of different reads and things like that. Plus missing training camp because I cut my leg started me a little slower on understanding. I pride myself on anticipating what they are going to do and cheat my coverages. The more you understand the better you can play.

As we go along, we get a little bit more experience. You start to get the little tricks of the trade of the defense, when you can come over and when you can stay back. Just anticipate things more. I think we are really coming together as a defense. I feel pretty good out there. When you know what to do it is so much easier to go out there and play football.

On his first interception of the year:

It was simple cover-3 coverage. We knew they were going to run screens – boots and screens. Pittman came out for a screen. I read it pretty well and was getting ready to break on the screen and he overthrew it and I was right there. Unfortunately a lineman had my leg. There was one guy to beat and I wish he wasn't there but hey it was exciting to make the play.

On winning:

It's awesome. I was talking to Tim Brown after they got him for pushing. He was a little argumentative to the referee about, ‘how can you call – don't listen to them.' I told him as he was walking back to the huddle, ‘Hey, you know how it is when you are winning.' When you are winning things go your way. That is something we didn't have last year cause we weren't winning and a play here a play there that we needed to win a game, we didn't do it for whatever reason. It is amazing when you win; the momentum just goes to your side.

I just love being on that winning side and having that momentum. The lucky bounces go your way.

On the defensive progression:

When you have success, it breeds confidence. This is something we have been doing for the last three weeks. It came down to the defense against Kansas City. It came down to the defense against Denver and we knew we had to play sixty minutes. After that game in Atlanta, when we didn't finish and they came back in the fourth quarter, it really hurt us to play so well for three quarters defensively and we have been talking about stressing you have to play a full sixty minutes in this league.

Ever since that game we have been playing the whole game. Sometimes it comes down to the last plays. You have to give credit where credit is due. Wade Phillips has done a tremendous job and Greg Manusky, (John) Pagano and all those guys have been doing such a good job of making us understand so we can go out there and play. There is no hesitation where we had previous years. We can go out there and execute.

On if he expected the defense to play so well:

This is a new team so who knew? I didn't know the players coming in to the team this year. We had such a turnover from last year. Now we have some great veterans that care. Guys like Keenan McCardell, Roman Oben, Randall Godfrey, Steve Foley, guys like that. Veterans who understand what it takes to be a pro and bring that ideology here to San Diego and let the young guys learn. It is very difficult when you just have one guy but if you have a lot of guys it makes it a lot easier because it is not one guy. When you are a young guy you look up to the veterans and you see, ‘hey, this is the way he is doing it. He is a pro.' And then they learn. They are setting a good foundation for themselves.

On if he had more leadership on the team this year:

Oh yeah. It is very difficult when you feel like it is you. Now you have guys to back up what you say and help you out…it goes a long way.

I am just really happy we had these great acquisitions this year to our team. It has really helped us out a lot in the locker room, on the field, in the weight room, in the classroom and off of the field.

On keeping everyone with the same goal in mind:

This team doesn't know what it doesn't know. This is new for everyone. We are just going out there and taking one game at a time. We are going to keep on playing like we have been playing. We just have to execute and keep on going. We are very excited about last week when we beat the Broncos to go two games up in the division. We are really excited to get this win at home against Tampa Bay. We have Cleveland coming up. I guarantee you that the veteran leadership is going to keep everyone in line and continuing to work. In this league, you don't make it this long all the time. I have been playing for nine years and to get ten wins is awesome. These times don't come around too often so take advantage of them and keep on going.

On whether this the best team he has been on:

The one thing that I like about this team is that we never die. If you work hard you always have a chance to win. That is what this team does. We continue to work sixty minutes. We may not do everything right but we are going to go out there and keep on fighting. If you are fighting and work hard you always have a chance to win.

On if he is a Pro Bowler:

I feel that I am. I just hope the fans and everyone else…I am not a style and flash guy. I pride myself on class on and off the field. I try to be a good player, good sportsmanship to give an example to the young youths watching. All I do is go out there and play my game year after year. If I am fortunate to get selected, that would be very nice. I like that free trip to Hawaii.

On the season being more fun:

Its been awesome to be here in San Diego and play for this team because I grew up not too far from here. Two weeks ago I went to have dinner with my wife and I got my first free desert here in town. That hasn't happened. Every time you go into the restaurant it is kind of like, ‘oh you are a Charger player?' Now it is awesome. I got a free apple pie. I guess we are doing something right here in San Diego.


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