SANTA CLARA –
As Dashon Goldson answered reporters’ questions, Braylon Edwards sat patiently next to the interview, waiting for his turn.
When he got the chance, he was eager to talk.
Here’s the complete transcript of what he said.
He mostly talked about the acclimation process, but towards the end he makes some interesting comparisons – Kellen Winslow Jr. to Vernon Davis, and Michael Crabtree to himself.
Q: Are you looking forward to Friday’s game?
EDWARDS: I’m looking forward to it. Football hasn’t happened in a while so I think everybody’s excited including ourselves. I’m ready. I’ve learned a lot of the playbook. I’ve been studying extra, going over with the coaches including with Alex (Smith) and some of the wide receivers. I’m sure I’m going to have some mistakes out there on Friday and I’ll probably be winded. It’ll be good for us to get out there away from Santa Clara. To be out there against competition, to get a feel for where we are as a young team.
Q: Are you 100-percent healthy at this point?
EDWARDS: I feel good. I am not injured in any way, shape, fashion or form. It’s just that my legs are tight but I’ve been going through the necessary football drills day to day. Nothing is physically wrong. I’m just trying to get back to it.
Q: How is it on bonding with a quarterback, especially Alex Smith?
EDWARDS: You’ve got to get a feel for their personality. I know that sounds pretty trivial and juvenile but it’s honest. You’ve got to know how they feel day to day, how to come out them, how to approach them. Football-wise, you watch the extra film with them, you talk to them, you go through things. Whenever you have questions, you’ve got to ask. You make a mistake, you’ve got to own up to it. Sometimes they may make a mistake and you help them with it. That’s how you develop a rapport. There’s a lot of extra work and you’ve got to go above and beyond your 9-5 to get better, to build chemistry on the field.
Q: Is that what you’re going through right now?
EDWARDS: So far we are. I’ve known Alex for a while so it’s actually made it a little bit easier. It might not be if I didn’t know him. We’re doing as much as we can. We’re trying to get this thing rolling so we don’t have excuses. We don’t want that to be one of the things going into the Seattle game, Dallas, Cincinnati or the Eagles game with us still learning.
Q: What’s the best way to approach him?
EDWARDS: He’s a cool guy. Alex is always here. He’s always about football. He’s always open to any extra work – and that makes it easier. Alex lives in this building, which is cool. I’m going to be here as much as I can. I guess I’ll live here. I’ll try to be with him as much as I can. He’s very open, very calm, very down to earth. Working with him is going to be easy than somebody else.
Q: How’s Michael Crabtree?
EDWARDS: Crab’s been around. He’s been very smart. He’s in our meetings, he’s very attentive. He goes over plays and knows what he and the other receivers are supposed to be doing on the plays. He comes out every practice. We go over some things when I’m not in. I feel we can have a really good rapport and be a really good receiving core when he comes back.
Q: Any advice for a guy who was drafted with high expectations?
EDWARDS: Just stick with it. Don’t listen to the outside world. There are going to be some bumps in the road, especially when you go high. You usually go to teams on the losing end the year before. Just stick with it, work hard and it will come. As long as you’re doing your job, when people see that you’re doing your job, you’re working hard and doing what you’re supposed to be doing and acting like a professional, it’ll work out for you in some part of your career.
Q: What do you want to get out of the preseason games?
EDWARDS: Just mastering the offense. Trying to feel real good about it. One thing about being a wide receiver or being on offense, is when you know the offense, you play faster. You play faster, you feel more confidence. Now the true you comes out. When you don’t know what you’re doing, you don’t have any swag. You’re out there trying to figure out what’s going on, ‘What am I doing? Is this right?’ You’re questioning yourself. You may be right, but you’re still questioning it. Once you know it, learned it, studied it, you play it, you master it, you can start doing your own deviations of what the play is. That’s what I am trying to get to and these four games will really help our receiving core and our quarterbacks get to that point.
Q: Can you compare Kellen Winslow, Jr. to Vernon Davis?
EDWARDS: They’re both extremely talented. Winslow before I got here was the best I played with and watching him, before his accident, was probably the best pass receiving tight end of our era. But he’s still doing his thing. Vernon is fast and I think he’s a little stronger in the blocking game than Kellen. I think that’s the difference between the two. They both run good routes, they both have good hands, good size. I think the thing is that Vernon’s a blocker. I’ve seen him on film and he destroys guys play after play. He’s not just a catching guy, he’s a blocker too. That’s what makes him the all-pro tight end that he is.
Q: How would you compare your style with Crabtree’s?
EDWARDS: Crab’s smooth and he has great hands. He always gets the ball into his body. He’s smooth when he runs the routes. Very similar to me. I’m probably a little taller. Who’s faster, I don’t know. We’re kind of similar to be honest. We’re pretty similar in what we do. He’s pretty physical in route releases. We’re similar wide outs, I just happen to be taller.
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