Edwards has his quarterback

Ray Edwards isn't one to shy away from controversial questions, and he dove right in when asked about Tarvaris Jackson and the Vikings' current quarterback situation. See what Edwards said about "his quarterback" and why he's backing him.

Tarvaris Jackson is currently embroiled in a two-way battle for the starting quarterback spot on the Minnesota Vikings. His current competition – after outlasting Brad Johnson, Brooks Bollinger, Kelly Holcomb and Gus Frerotte – is Sage Rosenfels.

His future competition – although that wouldn't be much of a battle – might include Brett Favre. The history, the inconsistencies and the continuous drama surrounding Jackson and the most important spot on the football field matters little to defensive end Ray Edwards. He has his Vikings leader, no questions asked.

"He's my quarterback," Edwards said of Jackson last week. "I don't care what they say about Favre – of course, Favre's a great quarterback – but Favre ain't here. Tarvaris is here and that's my quarterback."

The obvious follow-up question was this: What about Sage Rosenfels, who is involved in the current two-horse race that even Jackson admitted is 50-50?

"Like I said, Tarvaris is my quarterback. If he loses his job, then, hey, he's still my quarterback. I came in with Tarvaris. We've been friends ever since and I have faith in him," said Edwards, who was drafted in the fourth round in 2006.

Jackson was a second-round draft pick of the Vikings in 2006, and the team surrendered two third-round picks in order to move up in the second round and select Jackson 64th overall (they had already drafted Cedric Griffin and Ryan Cook in the second round that year).

It's clear that Edwards and Jackson, who appeared at a hunger-relief press conference together last week, have become friends. But Edwards was clear there was more to his Jackson backing than friendship.

"I believe he is the better quarterback. He's proven in the league. Sage has proven himself in the league also, but to me Tarvaris is a more mobile quarterback and can make plays happen," he said.

Which didn't surprise Jackson one bit, because of their relationship.

"I expect Ray to say that. Me and him have a very good relationship. We came in the same year. Obviously, he wants to win and I know he believes in me," Jackson said. "It feels good to hear him say that, but at the same time I've got to put the work in."

Jackson was criticized as needing to work harder by Edwards' defensive linemate, Pat Williams, about 10 days ago on Sirius NFL Radio. Many of the questions Jackson fielded last week revolved around that.

"I'm just going to turn it up a notch, I guess. Try to work a little harder and we won't be having this conversation," Jackson said.

When it comes to Favre controversy, which may or may not turn out to make a difference in Jackson's career, the fourth-year pro said he's trying to block out that aspect of the unknown.

"If it's going to happen, it's going to happen. I can't control that. If Brett's going to be here, he's going to be here," Jackson said.

"Obviously, you want to play, but if he does come I've just got to take it for what it's worth and learn as much as possible."

While Jackson has no idea if Favre will become his teammate this year or not, he has been dealing with rumors of Favre for almost a year, and the sooner those end – one way or another – the better.

"You would like to know what's going on. We don't get involved with all the personnel decisions, but you would love to know what's going on," he said.

NOTES

  • While Jackson has confided in Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb for advice in the past, he said he hasn't leaned on him for suggestions in how to handle the Favre speculation. But McNabb's handling of other situations may serve as a model for Jackson.

    "Donovan … he makes all of it fun. … Some of this stuff, even though you don't know where some of this stuff comes from you've still got to answer all the questions. It's just part of the job," he said.

  • Last year, Edwards predicted he would break Michael Strahan's league record of 22½ sacks from the 2001 season after the Vikings traded for Jared Allen. Edwards came up a bit short, registering five sacks, just like he did in 2007, but he managed to smile about the fun he and others had with his prediction. So, what about this year? Any predictions?

    "This year, I'm saying, ‘Stay tuned. You're going to see a lot of me,'" he said.

    Maybe, but that's not going to generate the same kind of headlines.


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