Kadeem Edwards Making ProgressJune 10th, 2014
Tennessee State will never be confused with football powers Alabama or Florida State or USC, much less Tennessee (not a power). But Kadeem Edwards, a Bucs third-day draft pick out of Tennessee State, is bound and determined to prove football is football whether it be the SEC or the Ohio Valley Conference.
Despite coming from a Division I-AA school, Edwards has shown Bucs coaches enough that he was regularly logging reps with the first team offense this afternoon at One Buc Palace.
Edwards talked to Joe about his transformation from intimidated rookie to confident first team member (for now).
“I just come here every day with a point to prove to coaches [my ability],” Edwards said. “They see it in me: my effort and my ability to play. Even though I came from a DI-AA school, the coaches have a lot of faith in me.
“Three weeks ago, [practice] was horrible because it was fast and a harder game. I just use every day as a day of getting better. I come out every day and am prepared to work, every day, day-in and day-out.
[Working with the first team] It went as I planned it. It went kind of fast but once I realized my study habits help me, it slowed down the game for me a lot.
“[All veterans on the offensive line] help me. [Offensive coach George Warhop] harps on the older guys to help out the younger guys.
“My playbook [knowledge is the key to advancement], you have to know the playbook to get in on any level whether it be first team, second team or third team. I proved to them I know my playbook and I come out every day to get my technique right.
“It is important to know the plays. You have to know the plays in and out. You have to be [mentally prepared each play as if you are] the center. Sometimes the center may have the wrong call and you have to correct him. That way, you have to have each other’s back.
“If I wasn’t physically ready I wouldn’t be able to take reps with the No. 1.
“Just coming from that [Division I-AA] level you have to have a chip on your shoulder. You have to come in every day. People think that coming from a small school, your football competition is not as good as theirs. But at the end of the day, we are all football players. They drafted me for a reason.
“I’m very eager. when they drafted me, I was very, very, very excited because there is an open job. It is up for grabs. If you come in and prove your worth, you will start.”
Big news today was that guard Carl Nicks passed his physical and Bucs coach Lovie Smith said he has the green light to begin practicing in training camp. That may mean, provided Nicks survives training camp and preseason, one less opportunity for Edwards to start.
Still, it is widely known that without Nicks, the Bucs have holes at both positions. So even if Nicks returns at left guard, that doesn’t mean Edwards cannot win the starting nod at right guard come September.