A: I think my biggest attribute is definitely getting to the quarterback – and stopping the run. My weakness? I think I need to play a little more consistently sometimes. I may have a problem with not getting to the ball as much as I should. I'm definitely working on getting to the ball a lot more.
Purdue's Ray Edwards is tested in the vertical jump during the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, Monday, Feb. 27, 2006. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Q: Do you think that's more a mental or physical approach?
A: I think it's mostly a mental approach, because I'm in great condition. It's the kind of thing where I say, "Okay, I make plays, but I know I need to be by the ball in case (the ballcarrier) slips a tackle". (talking about pursuit) – Just making sure I get over to the ball a lot more.
Q: You have been quoted as saying you got some great feedback from scouts and personnel people at the combine. Could you elaborate on that?
A: I talked to a lot of teams who liked what I had to offer. Cleveland liked me a lot…Cincinnati. Talked with those teams, and they said they liked my work ethic. Some people said that after the year I had, I wasn't at the top like I should have been. But everyone looked at me (there) and said, "Okay – the guy came here and showed what he could do athletically." I had individual workouts, going through the Combine drills and teams liked my athletic ability and the things I could do.
Q: So, you feel you raised your stock?
A: Yes, definitely.
Q: Did you do everything at your Pro Day on March 10th that you did at the Combine, and what did you hear from the teams in attendance there?
A: No – the only thing I did at the Pro Day was that I did my (short shuttle) over – I didn't do everything over that I did at the Combine. (Editor's note: Edwards ran the short shuttle in 4.78 at his Pro Day). A lot of teams just talking to me one-on-one – they mentioned from watching my films that one thing I could improve on is getting a little closer to the tackle when I make my move, because I was giving the tackle time to recover. They focus on things like that. Basically, everyone thought I was a great athlete.
Q: Weren't there 22 teams at your Pro Day?
A: Yes. (Note: According to Tom Kubat of the Lafayette, Indiana Journal and Courier, the teams in attendance were Atlanta, Baltimore, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Miami, Minnesota, New England, New Orleans, New York Giants, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington).
Q: What was your favorite team growing up, and where would you play if you had the choice?
A: I never really had a favorite team growing up – I just watched everybody and rooted for who I thought were the best players out there – the ones making plays, who I wanted to be like. As far as choosing where I'd want to go? It doesn't really matter where I go, as long as I get a fair chance to come in and play as a rookie.
Q: Who were your favorite players when you were growing up?
A: Reggie White, Michael Irvin, Jerry Rice and Lawrence Taylor. I got to watch a couple of (Taylor's) playback (taped) games, and I definitely liked the way he would always get to the ball and make things happen.
Q: Have you spoken to any representatives from the Seahawks? Have you sensed any interest from them?
A: I haven't talked to them myself, but my agent has talked to them.
Q: You had a private workout with New England on April 4th. Who did you meet with there?
A: Coach Pees (defensive coordinator Dean Pees) for one. He worked me out as an outside linebacker, something that I definitely want to play. I had a great workout with those guys, had a meeting and sat down with them. It went well.
Q: So, teams are talking to you about switching to a linebacker spot in a 3-4 defense?
Q: And you don't have a preference?
A: Not really. I would love to play outside linebacker, because that's where I think I could be more versatile and productive. But I could still put my hand down (on the line).
Q: What else did New England ask you to do?
A: They (also) wanted to see if I had the ability to drop back into coverage.
Q: What other visits do you have lined up?
A: I go to Houston this week. I'm supposed to come out to Seattle but they haven't set up the time yet. I think Dallas as well. That's all I know so far.
Q: Seattle led the NFL in sacks last year but had nobody in double digits – it was a round-robin thing, a lot of rotation. I think it would be a really interesting fit for you. You're back in Cincinnati now, working out?
Q: What facility?
A: I go to Gold's Gym, and I go to my old high school…working with my old high school coach (Ed Jackson).
Q: Any specific things or drills you've been asked by teams to work on before the draft?
A: Nobody told me specifically what to work on, but I've been working on being a little closer to the line when going after the quarterback, and working on my linebacker stuff. I don't know where I'm going to go, so I have to be more versatile in the things I do.
Q: Where will you be on draft day?
A: I'll be at my grandmother's house watching it.
Q: Will you have a lot of people over?
A: No – just family and close friends, my old coaches.
Q: Do you know if anyone's coming over with the cameras?
A: Nobody's contacted me yet, so I don't think so (laughs).
Q: One final question – what does Ray Edwards do in his free time? Any foundations or charities? What do you like to do when you're not thinking about football?
A: I haven't done a foundation yet. I spend a lot of time with my niece and nephew. My nephew wants to play basketball, so I take him to the court a lot and shoot around, because I used to play a lot myself. My niece, we just hang out and talk – we'll play games and things like that. That's about it.
Q: Ray, thank you again for your time – it's greatly appreciated.
A: Thank you.
Ray Edwards – Combine Numbers:
We'd like to thank Ray Edwards for his time, and the good folks at Octagon Football for putting this together. If you'd like to learn more about Ray, you can visit his website, Ray Edwards Online.
Note: Edwards was one of a number of defensive end draft prospects the Patriots have met with. His size and versatility make him a solid candidate for switching to the 3-4 defensive style that many teams now run (New England, NY Jets, Cleveland, Maimi,...). After losing Willie McGinest to the Browns and Matt Chatham to the Jets, the Patriots have Tully Banta-Cain and Mike Vrabel as versatile players who can play multiple positions. Rosevelt Colvin's emergence also allows the team some flexibility at the OLB position, but they will need to add depth. Although Edwards is a later round draft prospect, don't be surprised to see his stock rise depending on how well he performs in other private workouts.
Special Thanks to Doug Farrar, Editor-in-Chief of Seahawks.net the Seattle Seahawks affiliate on the Scout.com newtwork. Jon Scott, Patriots Insider contributed to this report.
Ray Edwards Interview: Part One