At age 30 the newly re-signed Braylon Edwards is by far the most seasoned wide receiver for the Jets this training camp. With Santonio Holmes expected to be sidelined for all of camp, Edward is going to have to act like it.
So far he is saying the right things.
“Yes I’m older, but at the same time I don’t have to be that, ‘Alright I’m 30, and you guys are 21. Listen to what I have to say. This is how it goes,’ said Edwards. “It doesn’t work like that, and they won’t listen. You just have to go out there and do it. The more you go out there and do it, the more you’ll notice people following you.”
Edwards wasn’t eye-popping on the field, but he carried himself like a professional. It’s only day one, but it looks like he is trying to back his words up. His quarterback certainly took notice.
“Braylon knows how to be a pro whether it’s with the media, on the field, or after a game,” added Mark Sanchez. “He’s a stud, and he’s learned so much in his career so far, and he still has a bunch left in the tank. So I’m excited to have him back.”
Edwards’ last good season came in 2010, his last full season with the Jets, when he averaged a career-high 17.1 yards per reception. Since then he has flopped with Seattle and San Francisco failing to record even 200 yards for either team.
The difference for Edwards is going from two teams with crowded receiving corps, to a team desperately searching for a reliable option outside Holmes. Not to mention the familiarity he already has with Sanchez and Rex Ryan.
Simply put, it would be a shock if Edwards isn’t more productive this season than he’s been the past two. In the final three games of last season Edwards had 10 receptions for 125 yards after being reacquired by the Jets. That’s just under half the totals he put up for both the 49ers and Seahawks in a combined 19 games.
But Edwards isn’t alone in trying to lead this young receiving corp. Fellow 30-year-old and former Browns teammate, Kellen Winslow, is a potential replacement for Dustin Keller at tight end. Edwards and Winslow are excited to be reunited.
“That’s my brother from a different mother,” said Winslow. “Love that guy. [Edwards] is one of the best I’ve seen.”
Like Edwards, Winslow is coming off a down year and is the elder statesman of his position.
It’s probably not realistic for the two to put up the numbers they did for Cleveland in 2007, but if they can stay healthy and act as reliable receiving options, they’ll go a long way to solidifying arguably the Jets’ biggest hole.
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