Eagles LB T.J. Edwards looks to be a very promising UDFA pick-up
1 May 2019 Eagles News
I spoke with LB T.J. Edwards from the University of Wisconsin this past Monday. Edwards was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Eagles after the draft. In this interview, I asked Edwards about his time at Wisconsin, how he’s handling the process, and what his goals are entering a team with a glaring need at linebacker. Below is the full interview, written in Q&A format.
First of all, how are you feeling right now?
I’m feeling pretty good. It’s just one of those things where I had high hopes for the draft. Things didn’t go as planned but I got the opportunity in Philly and I’m really excited to get there and start competing. I think it turned out for the best to be honest.
What were your expectations going into the draft?
I knew I was probably going to be a Day 3 guy. I thought I would go somewhere there and when it didn’t happen it was tough but right away I was getting calls. I was going through the process with my agent, trying to pick the best fit for me and I thought that fit was Philly.
Did your agent settle the terms and then you got the final choice?
Yeah he laid out my options for me and then the rest was all on me on what I wanted to do, which is different for me. Normally, you have an idea of things and then you get pushed towards one way but here it was different. It was all laid out for me and I went with my heart and chose Philly.
Can you describe the call you got? Who contacted you from the Eagles?
One of the scouts contacted me, Howie, and then coach Pederson as well. I got to talk to Howie for a good amount of time. I really felt like they all wanted me there which made me excited.
Is there anything that Howie said in your longer conversation that you had that resonated with you?
I can’t remember exactly what he said but he said something along that lines that it was a good opportunity for me to be there. I really just kind of felt his energy over the phone.
Moving to your college career, do you have a favorite tape of yourself or favorite game?
I think one of my favorite games in my four-year career at Wisconsin was probably against Michigan in 2017 or last year against Minnesota or Miami.
How about an NFL comparison? Who would you say resembles your build and playing style?
I don’t really have one. I think it’s good to take bits and pieces from different players’ games and add it to mine. You know once I get to Philly I want to be able to learn from everyone there and become and NFL player as fast as possible with the knowledge I receive. I don’t know if I could compare myself to anyone right now.
Have there been any football inspirations for you through your upbringing? Has anyone inspired you as a child or in college playing football?
I’d say, guys who have gone through Wisconsin and played at a high level there and then headed on to the NFL. Joe Schobert’s been a guy that I talk to every year about the next steps as well as the other T.J. (referencing T.J. Watt currently on the Pittsburgh Steelers).
When you get to Philly, are you looking forward to seeing anyone specifically?
I think it’ll be good to see Corey (Clement) again. He called me Saturday night and wanted to congratulate me. It’ll be good to see him again. I just know there’s so many well-respected guys in that organization. I am going to do my best to absorb it all and try to earn my respect as well.
Away from football for a second, what are your hobbies outside of football?
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t play video games. I’m a big gamer which I think is the easy answer. I love it, though, because it’s the way I stay connected with all the guys I’m friends with who are in a bunch of different cities now. When it’s nice out I like to golf but I’m terrible. I am terrible. I am horrible. It’s nice to be out there, though.
What is one thing you want to tell people coming in to Philly? What do you want fans to know about you?
I’ve always been a guy who’s worked his tail off to put myself in good positions to make an impact. I plan on keeping that work ethic. I’m someone who absolutely loves the game of football and I keep going and pushing to compete just for the love of the game. The biggest thing I love about the game is being part of a team and having that bond with other teammates. I’ve never been to Philly at all so I’m really excited to see the city, too. I’m really excited to get there.
A lot of people said that you were going to be a mid to late-round pick in the draft. Does that kind of give you a chip on your shoulder?
Yeah, for sure. Like I said I had high hopes going in, but it definitely gives me a little extra motivation now. As cliche as it is, it hurt a little bit but I know just going though it it’s not about where you get taken it’s about what you do when you get there. I’m excited to put that message into fruition and glad I got an opportunity to go somewhere to work and hopefully make the football team.
The Eagles definitely have a need at linebacker. In fact, there is analysis out there that it is one of the weakest positional groups on the team after Jordan Hicks’ leave in free agency. Could you see yourself potentially becoming a starter at some point?
It’s one of those things where it’s hard for me to say given who’s there right now. They have some very good linebackers in that locker room. I just want to come in and do whatever I can to get on the field whether that’s special teams or making my way up in the depth chart. I’m going to do whatever I can to make an impact in any way. I’m going to make sure that there’s nothing that I could’ve done more.
I can hear it in your voice, man that you’re ready for this.
I’m ready to go. I’ve been waiting for this moment.
Hey, got any final words for Corey now that you’re coming to the Eagles as his new teammate?
I haven’t seen Corey in two or three years. I’m excited to see him out there as a fellow Wisconsin guy. I’m sure he has a nice place out there in Philly so I hope he has an extra room for me.