The offensive guard position for the Buccaneers is one of a handful of unsettled depth charts, but rookie draft pick Kadeem Edwards is throwing his hat in the ring for the starter's role, and thinks he can earn it before September.
Fifth-round draft pick Kadeem Edwards was one of 50 players who were scattered behind One Buc Place over the weekend, getting a crash course in the Bucs new scheme. Edwards, who has been described as a raw talent, didn’t necessarily disagree with those sentiments, but also isn’t ready to accept a backup role when the regular season rolls around.
“Yes I think I am ready to step in right out of the gate,” Edwards said. “I do have technical flaws, and I do correct them with coach (George) Warhop. But that is all (just) part of the game. Nobody is perfect. Everyone has technical flaws. But that is why I am here getting better.”
Bucs head coach Lovie Smith, who spoke to media following Saturday’s practice, likes what he has seen from Edwards so far.
“It’s pretty early for that (naming a starter), I wish I could look into the future that much, but in time, I feel like he will be able to help us,” Smith said. “He’s a good football player, he’s as good as advertised. We thought he was a big athlete, which he is. He’s picking up things. He has an excellent offensive line coach in George Warhop. I feel like his future is pretty bright.”
Part of what has given Edwards the confidence to perform in the NFL was the week spent last January in Mobile, Ala at the Senior Bowl.
“The level of competition even here (with undrafted rookies and tryout players) is hands down better than where I was (Tennessee State) but action at the Senior Bowl kind of leveled that out,” Edwards said. “But that whole event at the Senior Bowl and combine, just to see other people compete with me, was a great experience. That gave me a lot of confidence. Like I say at the end of the day, they put on their pants just like I put on my pants. So once they strap up, we go to war.”
At the Senior Bowl Edwards was exposed to a different coaching style and now in Tampa he is seeing it from a completely different perspective and coaching style.
“This is new to me, he (offensive line coach George Warhop) is very detailed,” Edwards said. “He is detailed from the plays – he wants everything right. I’ve never had a coach that wanted everything right from every detail. From every direction to every point, he wants everything right.”
Edwards confidence also comes from the struggles he had to even get on the field in college.
“It was very hard, I was ineligible and was a part-time student,” Edwards said. “I worked every day, I worked in the dish room, and I stayed at football practice everyday like I was playing. I got my playbook and studied everyday like I was playing. So I proved to the whole coaching staff at Tennessee State that I was there to play football.”
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