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Ravens defensive tackle Dwan Edwards has recently been seeing more time on the field in response to the coaches’ desire to rest 13th-year veteran Trevor Pryce.
Edwards is certainly making the most of the situation.
The former second-round draft pick recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown against the New England Patriots in Week 4. Then, on Oct. 18, he logged his first sack of the season with a 2-yard takedown of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Farve.
One year removed from surgery to repair a bulging disc in his neck that ended his 2008 campaign before it even began, Edwards is relishing his expanded role.
“It’s been fun, especially coming off last year,” Edwards said on Thursday. “I wouldn’t have expected anything less because I’ve worked hard to get here. You wait for your opportunity and might get one every now and then, but all that hard work pays off. That makes you feel good.”
Edwards currently boasts 11 tackles and even notched a start against the Vikings. That could be a regular occurrence, as head coach John Harbaugh preached the benefits of playing the Oregon State product more.
“We want to use all our guys,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “I felt like more reps were good for Dwan and for our defense because of the run defense. Fewer reps make Trevor more effective in what he’s doing, especially in the pass-rush game.”
I can personally vouch for Edwards’ dedication to get back on the field ASAP.
He was a regular at the team’s training facility throughout the Ravens’ march to the playoffs, even though he never made it out of training camp. And this was when Edwards was coming off a career year in 2007, when he had a personal-best 13 starts, 58 tackles, one sack and one interception.
“Even coming into training camp, I was playing really well,” Edwards said. “I had a ton of confidence going into the season. Doing as well as we did, going to the AFC Championship, that was tough to watch. I hung around the team to work out and rehab.
“I thought I could have helped us get over the edge to the Super Bowl. But, that motivates you and makes you a better player when you come back.”
Playing at around 290 pounds instead of tipping the scales at over 300 pounds like he did earlier in his career, Edwards is learning from the similarly-sized Pryce, who is listed at 6-foot-5, 290 pounds.
”I’ve learned a lot from Trevor,” explained Edwards. “He’s a Super Bowl champion and a perennial Pro Bowler. He’s really pushed me, and that’s big. I want to play, too. I raised my game, and he’s still raising his game. It’s better for all of us.”