Edwards locked on to lofty goals

Donnie Edwards has been as consistent as they come over the years and 2004 was no different. He led the San Diego Chargers in tackles, interceptions and continually made plays that won games. Now he is primed for playoff action and ready to lead by example.

(on the urgency of winning in the playoffs in case you don't get back soon) "I think every year you go out there hoping to get to the playoffs. Ultimately, your goal is a Super Bowl ring. To get to the Super Bowl you have to set a goal of getting into the playoffs. It's whole new dance."

(on the opportunity of the playoffs) "It's a one-game season. I was telling some of the guys today this may be our last so-called Wednesday practice. Let's not let it be that. It's a one-game season. I know back in 1997, we went 13-3 (with the Chiefs) and had home-field advantage throughout, and all of the sudden we lost to the Broncos. Everyone was sitting there stunned and it was like, ‘What do we do now? The season's over.' It's a series of one-game seasons, and I was trying to explain that to young guys today."

(on if the playoffs have sunk in with the young guys) "Hopefully, we'll see. I know these guys will play hard regardless, no matter if we're playing in Cleveland or on turf on Christmas, it doesn't matter. These guys are going to play hard and execute."

(on playoff tempo) "I told them the speed is fast because we make it fast. I make it fast, you make it fast. It's all about knowing what to do. In the preseason, it's slower because people are sure of their responsibilities. They're a little tentative. But in the playoffs, you know your responsibilities so that makes it lot faster. Guys know what to do."

(on growing up a Chargers fan and being in the playoffs as a Charger) "It was exciting sitting on the sideline watching the game, watching some of the young guys go in there and play and beat Kansas City, it was awesome. I know when Krause scored that touchdown, they started playing that song, San Diego SuperChargers, and it reminded me of childhood in the 80s. For a split moment, I took myself out of reality. I thought, ‘Oh, my God – this is me 20 years ago sitting in the stands watching Dan Fouts throwing the ball to Charlie Joiner.' So that feeling is here again in my eyes. I hope we can continue and get to our ultimate goal, which is the Super Bowl."

(on what it means to the community) "I think it's awesome. Everyone is on a high. It's been a long time since we gave the Chargers fan something to have pride in and be excited. It's been 10 years since we been in the playoffs, so I know a lot of guys who have been sitting on their Chargers and not really wearing it. If you go out in the community now, there are bumper stickers and flags and the fans are loud and strong. I'm happy to have them back."

(on when the team started believing in itself) "When we played the first time, it was the second week. We were still trying to figure out what type of team that we were going to be. Guys were coming together in a new scheme. It takes time to grow. The more games you play the more experience you have the better you're going to become a team. Right now we're really a team and we've really come together. The Jets have beat us twice. They beat us 2002 right after a bye when we wore our Throwback uniforms and they beat us this year. Now we have a chance to redeem ourselves."

(on noseguard Jamal Williams) "He's our anchor. In a 3-4 defense, the noseguard is the anchor of the defense. As Jamal Williams goes, our defense goes. I hope he has a good game this Saturday. I'll be on him and I'm sure he'll get the job done. He's 350 pounds, he's strong and he has great leverage and he gets great push. As you know, defensive lineman don't get the credit. But linebackers understand without guys in front of them it's going to be very difficult to get things done. I'm happy Jamal is getting some respect this year."

(on Marty's postseason record of 5-11) "I know some of you guys want to make reference to that, but it's a new beginning or a new start. Every team is new and we've got a great opportunity in front of us."

(on seeing excitement in Marty while he's coaching) "I've seen it all year. The way he's changed his coaching to understand the players and let the players understand the coaches has made it a two-way street now. There are so many things that have changed, with the leadership council, there are so many things have changed. He came into the year with great enthusiasm and great energy and it transferred over to us as players and that's given us a 12-4 record."

(on why Marty changed his coaching style) "Any good coach or teacher has to change with the times. If you don't, life is going to pass you by. He's a great coach who is able to adjust with free agency and adapt. That leadership council we have now has helped tremendously."

(on what's the same about Marty) "Some things will never change. Don't turn the ball over, field position and play good defense. Those things will never change about Marty Schottenheimer. He's been telling me that since he drafted me in 1996. Now it's 2005 and it hasn't changed one bit. Those are the ingredients of winning. Those guys in the locker room understand it and we're getting it done."

(on consideration of him as NFL Defensive Player of the Year) "Has anyone ever been Defensive Player of the Year and not make the Pro Bowl? I'd like to be the first. They can make up for not sending my wife and I on a free trip to Hawaii. I think my numbers speak for itself. I think I've had a great year. My numbers are what they are and our team is winning and we're in the playoffs. The turnaround from 4-12 to 12-4 is a great step. I hope I get the recognition I deserve and the rest of the guys in this locker room deserve as well."

(on the linebackers playing defense against Jets' pass offense) "I know Paul Hackett pretty well from when he was our offensive coordinator in Kansas City. It's a West Coast offense. His passing game is check down and quick passes. He doesn't really throw deep that much. I know (Chad) Pennington likes to throw to Curtis Martin. Hopefully the linebackers will make some plays and shut down their underneath passing game."


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