Edwards Tries to Scrape Off Rust

Trent Edwards talks to reporters after practice. (Photo by Les Bowen)

Trent Edwards did a lot of watching Thursday during Eagles OTAs on a perfect morning at NovaCare.

He watched Michael Vick. He watched Mike Kafka. He watched Nick Foles, during the 7-on-7 and full-team passing drills. Edwards, who is trying to learn the Eagles' offense, got no more than a couple of reps.

"That's been explained to me, what the situation is. I completely understand. I understand that I still need to get those reps, from the side, from behind, and making sure I'm picking up as much as I can as fast as I can," Edwards said.  "I think you can still compete. There's other drills out there, there's other ways ... you can compete in the weight room, you can compete in the drills before and after practice. That's kind of the way it is right now, so that's all I have to go off of."

Edwards, 28, was signed by the Birds back in February because when they let go of Vince Young they were without an experienced backup, and Edwards has started 33 NFL games with Buffalo and Jacksonville. There was a time, not that long ago, when he was an up-and-coming young QB. But Edwards didn't play in the NFL last season after being cut by the Raiders in training camp, and even though he's been working at NovaCare since he signed, rust was evident when full-team OTAs began last week. Edwards constantly threw behind receivers. With Mike Kafka gaining arm strength in the offseason and Nick Foles showing a solid arm as a third-round rookie, it seems pretty clear that Edwards is No. 4 here right now.

It also seems fair to wonder if he will be able to do anythjng to change that, expecially since he isn't really getting reps.

"There's times where it's like I understand where I'm going with the ball and my footwork feels good, and the very next rep, that's not the case," Edwards said. "I don't know when that timetable [to settle in] is. I wish I had an answer. I do feel like the mechanics here are enforced, which they should be, at the quarterback position, they're enforced here way more than what I've been through before. So I'm doing a lot of trying to tweak some things with throwing the ball and getting my footwork right. I feel like I've made some progress, but I still have a long way to go."

 Edwards, 6-4, 230, who emphasized how happy he is to be here and have an opportunity to learn under Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg, said he has always been coached to make himself taller in the pocket, but here, he is working on bending his knees more, "taking a big first step, big hitches, which are all kind of new to me, but something I think is going to help me in the long run."

Edwards recalled that last week, even having a helmet on again felt strange.

"Jerseys, going from period to period, hearing the air horn ... I've done it before, obviously, for a long period of time, but to have that break -- your wind, you're definitely not in football shape, and your legs aren't there ... but it's coming around. I'm making progress. I'm happy to be here.'

It's easy to wonder if the beating Edwards took in Buffalo affects his play today.

"That's part of the nature of the position," Edwards said. "You will get knocked down. You will get hit hard, and you've got to get back up and face it, deliver on the next play. Now if that happens regularly, there are some guys that can do it and some guys that can't ... In terms of taking a hit, stepping up, making a throw the next play, I still feel like I can do that, regardless of what I've been through in the past."