Ray Edwards on Minnesota’s Struggles in 2010: “Guys have success and they get full of themselves…It was just a landslide from top to bottom.”

August 9, 2011 – 10:45 am by Michael Bean

Is Ray Edwards the missing ingredient in Atlanta? What about Julio Jones? The Falcons added two high profile talents this offseason — Jones in the draft and Edwards during the free agency frenzy. Despite his unworldly physical gifts, surely Jones was not the missing piece to a championship run a year ago. Edwards? Perhaps, as the Falcons definitely could have benefited from a elite player (or two) in their front-seven.

Edwards joined 790 The Zone in Atlanta with Pollack and Bell to talk about his first week and a half with the Falcons, his excitement to be around a championship caliber team, why he boxes in the offseason, whether he had any bouts this summer during the lockout, whether he tired of the Brett Favre distractions in Minnesota the past two seasons, how success got to the heads of certain players in Minnesota, the similarities and differences between Minnesota and Atlanta’s defense, his early impressions of Falcons defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, if the Falcons being legitimate Super Bowl contenders factored into his decision to sign with Atlanta, and how he’s not inclined to make any more predictions after boldly declaring that he was going to break Michael Strahan’s sack record several years ago.

On his excitement level now that he’s been with his teammates and coaches for more than a week:

“I’m very excited. I was at home last year watching the NFC Divisional Round game and I thought that I could have definitely been there to help. So I’m just glad I’m here now and have the chance to help the team go further.”

Why he boxes in the offseason:

“I love boxing. Boxing is something I always did; I did it as a young child but it’s very expensive traveling around the country trying to do the boxing tournaments. And it didn’t happen, so I picked up basketball and football. But it’s always something I use in my offseason training throughout my whole pro career.”

Whether he had any boxing matches this summer:

“I had one fight, one pro fight I got and won in a four round decision.  Then the last guy backed out so I couldn’t get my other fight in.”

Which is more taxing  physically–  a fight or a football game:

“Oh football, easy. But boxing is just a whole different thinking game; it’s chess, not checkers. So….”

Whether he ever got tired of the Brett Favre distractions last year in Minnesota:

“I mean, I thought we were going to have the same success. We had everybody back, we didn’t really lose any key guys, so we thought it was going to be the same success but, you know, guys have success and they get full of themselves. So guys didn’t know their role and it was just a landslide from top to bottom.”

On what differences he’s noticed about the schemes of Atlanta’s defense compared to Minnesota’s:

“Not at all. Technique a little bit different, but pretty much the same defense but different names. But pretty much the same thing: 4-3 here, I played 4-3 there; played outside, play outside here; so it’s pretty much the same.”

What his early impressions of Brian VanGorder are:

“I call him Jonah Hex, that’s what he looks like. Don’t tell him that though.”

If Atlanta being a Super Bowl contender factored into his decision:

“Absolutely. Like I said, you got all the parts in place: you got a great running back, you got a great quarterback, you got a great receiver, you got a great offensive line, and you got a great defense. I mean, those sound like keys to success.”

Care to make any predictions about how many games the Falcons might win this year?

“I just say stay tuned, I don’t do any predictions anymore. I’ve gotten in a lot of trouble before! And then I see Strahan the next offseason and he says ‘look young pup, don’t do that.’ I say ‘hey, I’ve got to shoot for the stars.’ He’s like ‘I know, but you know, just go out and play, don’t try to do any predictions.’”

Listen here to Edwards with Pollack & Bell on 790 The Zone in Atlanta

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