Unlike teammate Shaun Rogers, who is trying to lose weight, defensive end Kalimba Edwards spent a good part of the off-season trying to gain weight. Edwards, the Lions' second-round pick in the 2002 NFL draft, led the team last year with 6 1/2 quarterback sacks despite given up 60-70 pounds to most of the offensive tackles he lined up against.
Through a combination of diet and working out, Edwards had his weight up to 260 pounds during the Lions minicamps. And, although he lost some of the weight after undergoing a hernia operation earlier in the summer, he said he weighed in at 257 for the start of training camp.
I can eat as much as I want but if I don't lift weights with it, it really does nothing for me, he said. I have to take in a lot of protein and a lot of carbohydrates with a lot of weightlifting. Then the muscle goes on. Otherwise, it just burns off, literally.
Edwards says it's hard to quantify the strength he has gained along with the additional weight, but he's very aware of it.
I can't put a number on it, but I wasn't benching 315 for reps last year, he said. But this year it's just a normal thing. That's going to help a lot, especially on run downs. Before, they could just lean on me and move me. Now that I have the strength and a little more weight, it's going to be more of a battle, more of an advantage to me.
Edwards and James Hall are expected to compete for the starting job, opposite veteran left end Robert Porcher, when Edwards gets off the physically unable to perform list. He is still recovering from the hernia surgery but expects to be back for the second or third exhibition game.