Before They Were Pros: Ray Edwards

Vikings fourth-round draft choice Ray Edwards had a rocky ending to his collegiate career at Purdue. At his interview at the Combine, Edwards explained some of what caused the hard the feeling between him and some coaches at Purdue and touched on his difficult upbringing.

On how his mother made poor choices and wasn't in his life and neither was his father: "I met my dad for the first time when I was 13 ... My grandmother works nights at Wal-Mart right now and I want to put a stop to that."

On his decision to come out early and announcing it right after the final game: "The last couple of weeks I didn't know if I was going to leave or not, but I talked to my family, talked to coaches, and that's when I decided to take the opportunity to make my life and my grandmother's better."

On if his draft stock influenced his decision: "Not really because I knew it was definitely time for me to go. I just knew that it was time for me to go."

On his issues with the coaching staff: "One of my best friends (Bernard Pollard) got hurt on a play and I didn't see it because we were on defense. I was running off of the field, but when I saw that he was hurt I ran back onto the field to ask him if he was all right. They got me that Monday before practice and told me I couldn't do that because it was for the medical guys to do. It was my best friend, so why wouldn't I go out and see if he was all right? After that I decided it was best for me to leave."

On tensions with a coach: "A little bit but he's his own man and I'm my own man so it's something we both said."

On his strengths: "My strength is definitely being able to get to that quarterback. I've got a quick first step to get there and I can definitely stop the run. I can play the inside technique. Teams have tried to pound the ball at me, but we've done well to stop that."

On his grandmother: "My grandmother's not the type of person who just wants to sit around the house. If I get that house she's like, ‘You don't have to worry about it. I'll take care of it.'"

On his issues with coaching staff at Purdue, specifically the position coach and defensive coordinator, who were both new in '05: "It's something that just happened. I get along with other coaches, but it was just that I felt that once we started losing they were picking on me a little more because I guess as the voice of the team they wanted to establish something. I don't know. I get along with my coaches there, it was just the simple fact that I felt they were picking me out."

On his relationship with Bengals LB Landon Johnson, a former Boilermaker: "I've been close to Landon since I arrived on the Purdue campus. He was one of the guys who welcomed me in. I played as a freshmen and he was the starting outside linebacker. He and Shaun Phillips (now with San Diego) showed me the way how to play defense."

On his dream team to be drafted by: "The San Francisco 49ers. I loved those guys when Jerry Rice and Joe Montana were there. I loved watching those guys."

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