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Defensive End Mario Edwards, Jr., Talks Return To The Field


Defensive end Mario Edwards, Jr.

Here's the transcript from defensive end Mario Edwards, Jr.'s, media session Thursday.

Q: How did it feel to be back out there?

Edwards Jr.: "It felt good, felt good being back out there."

**Q: How important for you is it to string together practices right now?


Edwards Jr.: "It's big. Staying healthy is pretty big for me, but I am back, so I am ready to play."

Q: You seem like you're in tune with your body and when you're ready to go, right?

Edwards Jr.: "[Yeah]."

Q: What are the keys for you, knowing when you're physically ready to take the grind?

Edwards Jr.: "It's just like anybody. You know when you're ready to go, you know how you feel. When I'm ready to go, I'm ready."

Q: How frustrating was it to not be out here on the first day of camp?

Edwards Jr.: "Not too frustrating. I knew I wasn't going before I got here, so I was just going with the process and doing what I needed to do to get back 100 percent ready."

Q: You knew that it was going to be a short break?

Edwards Jr.: "[Yeah]."

Q: How tough has it been for you because of all the expectations and it seems like there is always some hurdle for you?

Edwards Jr.: "I don't get it too high with the high, too low with the low. I stay pretty even-steven. It's an obstacle, but I'll get over it. I'm ready to go."

**Q: There are a lot of people on this team that say that you will make this a better defense. Is that something that you believe?


Edwards Jr.: "Definitely. I believe that. We have a great guys that we drafted this year as well, so the great thing about it is you don't just pinpoint Bruce [Irvin], [Khalil] Mack, me or any of the guys. We have new guys that we can rotate. I agree with what the coach is saying, but we also have guys that can rotate in as well."

Q: Have you seen anything from Eddie Vanderdoes?

Edwards Jr.: "Oh, yeah. He's a hell of a player. He's really strong, has good hands. He is going to make some noise this year."

Q: What did you miss most about football when you were off the field?

Edwards Jr.: "Just camaraderie, really. Just being around the players. I knew I'd be back, so it was just more so being around my teammates."

Q: Is there a spark with you and Bruce Irvin returning to practice today at the same time?

Edwards Jr.: "We talked a little trash coming on the field today, but we knew that we would be back. It was fun."

Q: It seems like the Raiders are going to move you inside more in passing situations this year. How do you like that and how does that fit into your game?

Edwards Jr.: "I'm a defensive lineman. I don't pinpoint myself at one particular position. I feel like you can put me wherever you want me to play, and I can make it happen."

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