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Edwards crackles with tackles

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Thread_Killer, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. Thread_Killer

    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

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    http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20061201/news_1s1chargers.html


    Chargers' ironman piling up rich stats

    By Kevin Acee
    STAFF WRITER

    December 1, 2006


    Watching Donnie Edwards play linebacker is fascinating.

    The value of his gaudy tackle statistics might be debatable, but one thing is not – the dude knows how to play.

    At 220 pounds, playing one of the most physically demanding positions on the field, with equal parts guile and self-preservation, he has not only survived but thrived in the NFL for 11 seasons.

    (According to coaches' statistics, he already has 111 tackles because coaches have, based on game film, awarded him one fewer solo tackle and 21 more assists. Press box statistics tallied during games, by which the NFL goes, have him at 91 total tackles.)

    Regardless, only Edwards and Tampa Bay's Derrick Brooks (with 84 so far) have a shot at reaching 100 tackles this year for a 10th straight season. Since 1997, Edwards's 1,297 total tackles are second in the NFL to Miami Dolphin Zach Thomas' 1,373. Edwards' 977 solo tackles are tied with Brooks for tops in the league in that span.

    “It means I've been playing a long time,” Edwards said this week.

    That is the new, succinct Edwards, the one who says he no longer feels underrated and is just going about his business.

    It was during his time on the stationary bike this summer, bothered by a balky back the entirety of training camp, just months after being made available for trade and just weeks after asking to be traded, that Edwards adopted a refined philosophy.

    “The hell with all that (stuff),” he said. “I'm just trying to do what I can to help the team win.”

    So here he still is, in the midst of what may be his hometown team's finest season, his name again being called more than any other defender's.

    He will not address what is certainly fact – that his time with the Chargers is finished when this season ends. He is confident there are still many games to be played in a 33-year-old body that has endured almost 11 seasons in this punishing league.

    “I just keep on going,” he said, noting the only surgery of his career was one on his knee this past offseason. “I pride myself on my durability.”

    No man plays this game healthy. And while Edwards is as fine a physical example as any, for what he is, he struggles even to maintain 220 pounds – 25 to 30 pounds lighter than most linebackers in the league. In the offseason he's closer to 200, and he figures he will weigh even less than that when football is behind him.

    How does he do it, being a gazelle in a rhino world?

    Watch him on Sunday, and you will see a player who is on the ground only when he needs to be. He deftly avoids contact when possible, finding his way through a mess of players to make plays without the usual pounding. He knows the game. It is clear when watching him that he has radar for the ball.

    “I use my athleticism,” he said. “I'm very good in space. I have a nose for the football. I just try to get to the ball. I try to make every tackle. I anticipate plays. Out of certain formations I anticipate what I could do. Everyone has a gap. I try to make sure my gap is taken care of. I want to make sure I have my responsibility but also have a chance to make a play.”

    And by the nature of his position in the Chargers' scheme, he at times could be mistaken for a safety for as much as he drops back in coverage. Sunday against Oakland, when he deflected two Aaron Brooks passes, he played every snap and blitzed just twice.

    He makes his style work.

    No linebacker in the NFL has as many interceptions since 2002 as Edwards' 16. In fact, only 17 players have more interceptions since '02. Edwards, who has two interceptions this season, also leads the league's linebackers with 49 passes defended since '02, which is the season he joined the Chargers on a five-year, $18.75 million contract.

    “Everyone has a different style of play,” he said. “There are a lot of linebackers that I can't do what they do. But they can't do what I do. I'm athletic, a space player, open-field kind of guy. I cover a lot.”

    Which leads to the tackle statistics that have been a hot topic.

    His tackle numbers are what Edwards would primarily cite when lamenting the fact he has never been voted to a Pro Bowl. His tackles are what General Manager A.J. Smith discounted when putting Edwards on the trading block in April.

    “I'm not interested in Donnie Edwards' seven-year tackling statistics,” Smith said at the time. “I'm only interested in the type of player he is and the player he may be in the future.”

    (There was also the matter of Smith being tired of Edwards' repeatedly asking for a contract extension.)

    But, anyway, tackles are an unofficial statistic, recognized only peripherally by the NFL. They are somewhat subjective, as evidenced by the significant discrepancy between coaches' and statisticians' figures.

    Also, it is difficult to compare Edwards' tackling statistics with those of other linebackers because of how and where he plays, as he is often covering in the open field and is rarely asked to blitz.

    But, in an attempt to explain why Smith may have been less than impressed by the fact Edwards is consistently among the league's leading tacklers, the Union-Tribune analyzed Edwards' 2005 tackles. Of his 154 tackles, 56 percent were made after an opponent had gained 4 yards or more and a quarter of them were made 6 or more yards downfield. This season, 50 percent of his 91 tackles have been made 4 or more yards from the line of scrimmage and 35 percent have been 6 or more yards beyond the line.

    Smith never said Edwards was not a good player – asking for a second-or third-round pick is actually a pretty steep price – he simply implied by his actions that he felt backup Matt Wilhelm could make enough of the same plays.

    Smith has declined to address the Edwards situation since July.

    Edwards' supporters – head coach Marty Schottenheimer included – argue if Edwards were not there to make those tackles 10 or 12 or 17 yards downfield, the ballcarrier might run forever. As ridiculous as that argument is, it is true that Edwards is a proven commodity.

    “Everyone has different roles,” Edwards said. “I don't rush the passer. I'm getting tackles. My job is to go across the field, wherever it is, hustle and make plays, play good pass coverage and do the best I can do.”
     
  2. Thread_Killer

    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

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    http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20061201/news_lz1s1fball.html


    Donnie on the spot

    December 1, 2006

    Donnie Edwards is on the verge of becoming the only player in the NFL with 100 tackles in each of the past 10 seasons. The top tacklers over the past decade:

    PLAYER TEAM(S) HT/WT TACKLES

    1. Zach Thomas Miami 5-11/228 1,373

    2. Donnie Edwards K.C., S.D 6-2/227 1,297

    3. Derrick Brooks Tampa Bay 6-0/235 1,283

    4. Ray Lewis Baltimore 6-1/250 1,256

    Linebackers with the most INTs since 2002, the year Edwards joined the Chargers.

    PLAYER TEAM(S) INT PD

    1. Donnie Edwards San Diego 16 49

    2. Ray Lewis Baltimore 11 33

    3. Derrick Brooks Tampa Bay 10 39

    4. Mike Peterson Indy, Jacksonville 10 26
     
  3. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    Edwards Crackles with Ankle Tackles has such a better ring to it.
     
  4. Thunderstruck

    Thunderstruck BoltTalker

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    We're so lucky to have Donnie Edwards. No one in the NFL is better at touching ball carriers that are already on the ground. If he'd been playing for the Raiders last week we would never have had to hear about that VJ forward fumble because Donnie would have been right there to touch him down as soon as he hit the ground.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Electric Chair

    Electric Chair Well-Known Member

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    SNAP! CRACKLE! POP!

    We should call the D the Rice Crispies. :lol:
     
  6. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    That's too funny ......
     
  7. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    Tim of Fargo, N.D., is on the "football ledge," because he is so upset with the league's lack of defensive fundamentals. An aside -- I do remember that Jack Ham piece you cited, and it was his fellow linebacker, Andy Russell, whom I quoted.

    If you're an old timer, as I am, Tim, you're upset because they don't seem very interested in playing the run, and that was the basis of defensive principles once upon a time. But it's a passing game now, and a speed game.

    So you see LB's who constantly get hooked inside, but then they join the pursuit and if they make the tackle downfield the announcers praise them for their great hustle.

    You see DB's who want to be KO artists, stars of the highlight reels, instead of wrap-up tacklers.

    On the line, it's mostly pass rush. I once saw Viking DT John Randle trapped 18 times in one game. But he got a sack so everybody said how wonderful he'd played. Running around blocks, failure to meet the blockers squarely...yes, it's all part of the game now. Wish I could make you feel better.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/dr_z/11/30/react/1.html
     
  8. MtlBoltsFan

    MtlBoltsFan Jesse Ventura/Howard Stern 2016

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  9. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    From the article:


    When they can't even agree on what a tackle is, it is an overrated statistic. Maybe even useless in it's current form.

    I mean, when the discrepancy of the NFL's number and the coaches' number is as much as 20%, the stat has almost no integrity.

    First they need to clearly define a tackle. Then they need to break down the "tackles" by placement. TFL (Tackles-For-Loss), No Gain, 1-2 yards, 3-5 yards, 5-9 yards, 10+ yards.
     
  10. Thread_Killer

    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

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    This isn't the reaction I was expecting when I started this thread. [​IMG]



    :icon_rofl:
     
  11. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    :tup:
     
  12. Alpenbolt

    Alpenbolt BoltTalker

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    Lay off my boy now. You only have to watch him for 8 more games!!! And I think he will pick up a key pick along the way.
     
  13. Burley

    Burley BoltTalker

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    You must admit, he is one of the better coverage LB's in the league. He might fit better in a 4-3 though...
     
  14. Thread_Killer

    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

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    Man, Donnie was EVERYWHERE yesterday. :icon_eek:


    [​IMG]


    I'm sure he got a game ball. :yes:
     
  15. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    everywher but the backfield

    Need a 1st down on 3rd and long? Find Donnie and run right at him.
     
  16. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    I will say there was one third and reasonably short where Donnie pushed McGahee back so he didn't get the first down. Granted there were like three other guys slowing McGahee down, but nevertheless...
     
  17. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    Donnie had a couple physical plays early in the first half. I was surprised. Then he returned to classic Ankle Biting form for the rest of the game.
     
  18. boltsnow

    boltsnow BoltTalker

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    It's funny how some criticize players when our defense can't tackle. Here we have someone who has led our team since he came here in tackles and yet now you criticize HOW he tackles. Obviously, he is doing the job that many others seem unable to do. Can we do possibly better? Probably. But fact remains, he is getting the job done. Donnie admits that he isn't a blow'em up LB and he weaves is and out of players, yet with all of that weaving in and out....he still gets there first. Donnie doesn't have the size of a Merriman or a Foley to run through players and he knows it. Why some here bash him......I just don't get it.:icon_shrug: :icon_huh:
     
  19. boltsnow

    boltsnow BoltTalker

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    Didn't Donnie make a nice stop behing the LOS for no gain early on?
     
  20. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    You're right .... 12-0 ...... 11-1 ......
     
  21. boltsnow

    boltsnow BoltTalker

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    Was that Donnie trying to take Heaps head off?:icon_huh:
     
  22. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    Look, I don't like Donnie. I don't. He's a friggin' crybaby, and all he has going for him is his rediculous amount of tackles. Would we be 10-2 w/ out Donnie? Possibly, but that's a different question for another thread.

    All I know is what I see on the field. Donnie is a very good tackler, but that's about it. He does make the ocassional jawdropping play, but it's usually just "Let's all watch the opponents drag Donnie towards the first down marker". You guys mention a play in the Buffalo game where he hit the back in the backfield. Yeah, I saw that, and I saw the 2 other guys who helped bring the back down. There's a good reason Donnie get snubbed from the Pro Bowl every year, BECAUSE HE'S NOT THAT GREAT. Wanna see great? Look at #56, sacking guys and forcing fumbles as he's dragged to the ground by an offensive lineman.

    I would not be so critical if I thought we couldn't live without him, but I think we can. I'll tell you what, it's been real nice not having to read or hear about him whining about his contract. To Marines. Loser.
     
  23. Alpenbolt

    Alpenbolt BoltTalker

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    Donnie Haters are myopic. There is really not too much to hate about the guy.

    Is he Merriman? Hell no.
    Is he better than the other scrubs they have at ILB? Hell yes.

    Does he dominate a game? Hell no.
    Does he show up for every game (unlike the rest of the defense)? Hell yes. Again probably the only guy on that side of the line who hasn't missed a game (except Jamal the stud).
    Does he make smart plays that turn games around sometimes? Yep
    Does he get dragged downfield by big backs? You bet.
    Pro-bowler? No doubt no.

    Did he whine this offseason? Yes he did.
    Did he realize he was idiot for doing so? Yes he did.
    Has been a positive influence on the team this year in the locker room? Yep
    Do his teammates respect him? Yep

    On the whole a solid player who deserves more respect. If he has the respect of the team he should probably get ours.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  24. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    :lol:
     
  25. Thumper

    Thumper WHS

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    Great post! :thumbup: Two thumbs up!
     
  26. boltsnow

    boltsnow BoltTalker

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    Buffalo Bills at 08:31
    1-10-BUF36 (8:31) J.Losman sacked at BUF 34 for -2 yards (S.Phillips).
    2-12-BUF34 (7:50) (Shotgun) J.Losman pass short right to P.Price to BUF 41 for 7 yards (Q.Jammer). Caught in flat at BUF 41.
    3-5-BUF41 (7:20) J.Losman scrambles left end to BUF 47 for 6 yards (S.Phillips). Scramble after pressure: R.Bingham.
    1-10-BUF47 (6:40) W.McGahee up the middle to BUF 47 for no gain (D.Edwards).
    2-10-BUF47 (6:03) J.Losman pass incomplete deep left to L.Evans (B.Jue). Receiver and coverage along sideline at SD 5.
    3-10-BUF47 (5:53) (Shotgun) J.Losman sacked at BUF 40 for -7 yards (S.Merriman). FUMBLES (S.Merriman), RECOVERED by SD-I.Olshansky at BUF 44. I.Olshansky to BUF 44 for no gain (D.Preston).

    A stop for no gain and no assists on it.
     
  27. boltsnow

    boltsnow BoltTalker

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    Nice post BFIL!!!:tup:

    Straight and to the point. People aren't happy with a steady player. They want someone to be a blow up playmaker and they keep using Merrimans name. Yeah, ok, like that is going to happen. Lightening ain't gonna strike twice for us. People fail to realize that RB's have gains when Donnie makes the tackle because he doesn't play the line, he is usually in coverage. I'd much rather him play smart and make the tackle then to be a wreck loose and miss tackles because all he cares about is the hit. That happened this year and we lost. Pick your poison folks!!!:icon_tease:
     
  28. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Wow, solid post. Good points regardless of which side of the topic you are on. Great job Liechtenstein!
     
  29. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Donnie has been voted the best coverage LB in the league by the coaches (according to Scott & BR). I understand, those scrubs dont know a football from a mole hole. He is a good tackler, much has been made of his tackles after positive yards. Look where he plays, he roams behind the line dropping into coverage on many plays. So yeah, if he is making tackles many will be after a gain. I would expect any non-ball watcher to be aware of that. They seem to have messed that one though, or maybe it doesnt bolster their argument...:icon_wink:


    Perhaps we should be rooting for him to not make those tackles and let a secondary player make them. That would show us wouldnt it? Donnie is playing well for the Bolts, and has shut his big mouth. If you cant respect the player respect the uniform! Give credit where credit is due folks...
     

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