Every NFL player has to figure out how to spend their six or seven weeks off between spring practices and training camp.
For Eagles third-year linebacker T.J. Edwards, that means working out with two of the best defensive players in the league.
Last month, Edwards was back in Wisconsin working out with a group that included two of the best Badgers in the NFL: J.J. and T.J. Watt.
“T.J. and I played together, so I’ve known him for a good amount of time,” Edwards said late last week. “We’ve worked out together for the last three years. Honestly, I go there just for their mentality and the way they go about things. Just their tips and their tricks in terms of reading offenses and things like that.
“But the way they work is something that draws me to go back there year in and year out. I think it’s only helped me grow and make sure I’m hungry as hell when I get here. Because I’m excited to be back and in the best shape of my life and get things going.”
That photo was posted by J.J. Watt on July 19. From left to right: J.J. Watt, Edwards, former Wisconsin DE Alec James and T.J. Watt.
The Watt brothers are known for their dedication to hard work and it’s hard work that has certainly paid off. Between the two of them, they have stacked three Defensive Player of the Year awards (all from J.J.), 7 All-Pros, 8 Pro Bowls and 3 season sack leaders.
So it makes sense that Edwards would gain a lot from working out with these two.
This season, Edwards is battling with several other Eagles for playing time. It’s a crowded linebacker room now with Eric Wilson, Alex Singleton, Davion Taylor and Shaun Bradley. Based on the rotation in training camp, it seems like there are jobs up for grabs.
“No doubt,” Edwards said. “Coach is doing a great job of rolling with different combinations, giving guys different looks. I think it’s really helping us all get a chemistry playing next to one another. Just keep amplifying that competition, which is really for the best.”
Edwards, 24, is entering his third NFL season and has become a solid contributor for the Eagles. After going undrafted, the Eagles signed Edwards and he played in all 16 games as a rookie, making four starts.
Last season, Edwards played and started in the 12 games when he was healthy. He had 70 tackles, 1 interception, 2 sacks and 5 tackles for loss.
Edwards, unliked some of his fellow Eagles linebackers, isn’t known for his raw athleticism. But he does have great instincts and he’s the kind of player a coach can put his trust in.
And Edwards is also always thriving to get better. Sometimes that means working out with a couple of the best players in the world.
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