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Nuggets from Edwards' big day

By Marla Ridenour Published: October 7, 2009

Just-traded Browns receiver Braylon Edwards should love the reception he got from the Jets -- at least from their web site. Streaming across the top of the web page for most of the day was his picture with the headline, ''Braylon Edwards. Get your No. 17 jersey. New York's newest Jet.''

Jets coach Rex Ryan didn't seem concerned about a possible league suspension over the Monday morning incident in which Edwards allegedly punched promoter Edward Givens outside the View Ultralounge and Nightclub in Cleveland.

''Any time we add a player, we do extensive background checks,'' Ryan said in a press conference. ''We're comfortable with the player on and off the field.

''We've gone through the process with our security people and we're confident Braylon is going to be contributing for us on the field.''

Ryan said Edwards won't have to shoulder the load and ''has a chance to be special.''

''We've got a lot of veteran leadership, he's going to enjoy the atmosphere here,'' Ryan said. ''He doesn't have to carry the team. He can come in here and have fun, play like he did when he was a little kid in Pop Warner.

''We brought in Braylon Edwards to be a starter for us and we'll put him on the field from day one. He's too talented not to be on the field.''

As for Edwards' off-the-field issues, Ryan said, ''The past is the past. He's done a lot of good things off the field as well. I spoke to people I really trust (about him).''

Asked if that included his twin brother Rob, the Browns defensive coordinator, Ryan said, ''I think you can figure that out. I don't want to get him in trouble.''

For the most part in his press conference, Edwards took the high road and thanked Browns owner Randy Lerner and former coach Romeo Crennel. (He made no mention of Mangini or ex-general manager Phil Savage, who drafted him in 2005.)

''They're going in a direction already without me. If I can help that direction any, that will be great. I think them taking a chance on me will pay off in the long run because I know what I'm capable of. There's a lot going on on this team and I think I can be a key to help.''

Asked why it didn't work out in Cleveland, Edwards said, ''There's always change going on in Cleveland. For teams to win, to be consistent, things have to stay the same. You can see the teams that are winning in the NFL, there are consistent parts. When you're always constantly changing variables, it leads to some new beginnings and some sticks in the mud.''

When his disappointing 2008 season came up, Edwards said, ''Guys weren't healthy. (Derek Anderson) was fighting something, I didn't participate in the preseason because of injury. When I got back, I had lapses in concentration. I wasn't always focusing 100 percent. It's something I talked about openly, I never blamed anybody. That's what I tried to get back to this past off-season. I felt like I started this season well.''

Edwards' contract will expire after his season, unless negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement make him a restricted free agent in 2010. He said he wouldn't demand a new deal this year.

"I don't want to be a distraction,'' Edwards said. ''All I want to do is play football. They've got a machine moving in the right direction. To come here and try to talk about a contract would be pretty petty. I'm happy with my contract, it doesn't bother me.''

Edwards would not address the Monday morning incident with Givens.

He did say he got off his plane and rushed to Jets headquarters for the team photo.


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