Edwards Ready for Return to SD

The Chiefs welcomed back Donnie Edwards after his hometown team turned its back on him. General Manager A.J. Smith was unimpressed by Edwards' lofty tackle statistics and worked diligently to trade him before letting him play out his contract and walk as a free agent. On Sunday, Smith will discover whether he made a wise move.

Donnie Edwards is the premier coverage linebacker in the NFL. He has 28 career interceptions, including 17 during his five years with the Chargers. Those contributions have been sorely missed in San Diego, where the pass defense ranks No. 22 in the league and has been picked apart on by the short passing game.

Edwards finds no gratification in the Chargers' defensive struggles. With game day quickly approaching, he is more concerned with San Diego's offense.

"It's only exciting because you are playing against a lot of your friends," Edwards said. "These are guys that you went to battle with for a long time, you know each other and you are still good friends. You're playing against your friends, so that makes it a little bit different."

Edwards knows he will have his hands full on Sunday. He will be responsible for containing LaDainian Tomlinson and shadowing Antonio Gates, two All Pros who've made careers out of giving defenders fits.

Gates has been the more effective player this season, piling up 297 yards from scrimmage to Tomlinson's 229. However, it's No. 21 that has Edwards' attention.

"I know that L.T. is one hell of a person and he is one hell of a player, as well," Edwards said. "The guy plays with so much passion, which I love, and it rubs off on other people as well. He's bottled up right now, but I don't want this to be the game that he breaks out."

Edwards knows this game is more than a reunion. He has been in this situation before when returned to Arrowhead for the first time as a Charger. By the time the final whistle blows, all anyone remembers is the final score and its impact on the standings.

"The main thing is that this is a conference game and we're both stuck at 1-2 right now, so whoever wins this game is going to have a better chance in the division," Edwards said.

Edwards is confident he can carry his team into the win column and past the Chargers in the standings. A.J. Smith better hopes Edwards' confidence is as inconsequential as his tackling stats.


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