SANTA CLARA – Braylon Edwards was supposed to talk to reporters in the Niners locker room this afternoon, but he didn’t. Instead, he spoke after practice.
As he slowly walked off the field around 4:15, Jim Harbaugh and the Niners public relations director walked alongside of him for a few minutes and they discussed something privately, but in plain view of the reporters.
During the interview, Edwards was non-committal about whether he’d play this weekend against the Browns.
After the interview, the public relations director gave Edwards a first bump.
Here’s the transcript of Edwards post practice interview.
Q: How do you feel after a couple of practices?
EDWARDS: It feels good. We’re just in a situation where we’re handling it professionally, and going day-by-day and seeing what we can do. Can we do more the next day than we did the day before, and we’ll see what happens.
Q: Has it been a progression upward?
EDWARDS: It’s been about the same. We didn’t do more today than we did yesterday, so we’re just taking it slow and watching the swelling, that’s the biggest thing with any injury, watching the body give you your signs.
Q: Did you go through the whole practice?
EDWARDS: I did what they wanted me to. The most important thing is participating, so that’s kind of what we did today and what we did yesterday.
Q: It seemed like you were running some normal routes and then walking cautiously and feeling them out, is that what you were doing?
EDWARDS: It’s one of those things where it’s new, getting back out there, it’s a mental thing as well as a physical standpoint, you have to see where you are, so, running full speed, and then kind of gauge and trying to bend a little extra or go a direction and see how your body and your limbs handle it, and so far it’s been okay.
Q: You played Cleveland last year. Did that take some of the novelty of playing your former team out of it?
EDWARDS: I think so. I think any time you play for a team, it’s all more so playing that team in that city. I think that does a little something, whether it was a great experience, whether it was a bad experience or indifferent. Going back to that place is always interesting for whatever reason. So that happened last year and it was what it was. And now this a completely different year.
Q: How would you describe your experience in Cleveland?
EDWARDS: They gave me an opportunity. They took me in the first round in 2005, so I’m very grateful to that (city) and that organization for taking a chance. We had some good times, we had some bad time – as you do in life. But I hold no grudges toward anybody there and I still have some friends from that area.
Q: You were here during the bye week and working with Alex a little bit.
EDWARDS: Just working with the trainers, Alex, talked a little bit more than running routes or anything.
Q: Is the timing still there from earlier in the season when you were able to work together?
EDWARDS: Yeah, it’s not too bad. I’ve missed a significant amount of weeks, but we’re professionals. The knee has still allowed me to have good speed and Alex is Alex. He’s playing well. And he’s finding me right now.
Q: Coach Harbaugh said today he wasn’t as optimistic about you playing as he was a couple days ago. Was there some swelling after yesterday’s practice.
EDWARDS: No. No swelling. Just more making sure everything is right. When you come back from an injury like that you have to make sure the mental matches the physical. Your physical may be ready, but your mental may not be ready. Or your mental may surpass your physical performance. So we’re just making sure everything is aligned with the stars so that I’m out there for the long haul as opposed to a couple of plays and I’m back hurting.
Q: Coach Harbaugh wasn’t optimistic about your recovery. Was there any swelling that caused it?
EDWARDS: Not swelling. Just more so making sure everything is right. When you come off an injury like that you want to make sure that the mental matches the physical. Your physical may be ready by the mental may not be ready. Or your mental may surpass your physical performance. Just making sure everything is aligned with the stars so I go out there for the long haul as opposed to a couple plays and back hurt.
Q: How hard is it to watch the team go 5-1 while you’ve been hurt?
EDWARDS: It’s been bittersweet. It’s sweet in the sense that here we are sitting 5-1 and the team is tremendous ball. They’re motivated. You can see it. They’re passionate. And we’re believing in ourselves versus what the people are writing or saying about us. The team is sticking beside this building right here, so that’s the good thing about it. The bitter part is watching and knowing that you’re not contributing. So even though I am here every day with those guys, I’m not necessarily participating in the victories. That part kind of sucks – for a lack of a better word. They’re doing well and I just can’t wait to get back out there to contribute and do the things that I know I can do, to continue their already started success.
Q: Are you optimistic that you’ll play Sunday?
EDWARDS: I’m optimistic with anything – I’m 28. I want to be out there. It’s pride, it’s confidence, it’s just wanting to get back out there. It’s competition, but I have to be smart. That’s one thing my mom talks to me every day about: “You have to be smart about it Braylon, just relax and see how it goes. Don’t force yourself. If I’m not ready, then I’m not ready.”