Edwards has one word to describe playing for Bears: 'Surreal'

Edwards has one word to describe playing for Bears: 'Surreal'

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO - After trading linebacker Roquan Smith, the Bears have acquired a few new linebackers. Among them are Chicagoland native TJ Edwards who has spent the first four years of his career with the Philadelphia Eagles. Now he’s playing with the team he grew up watching and he had one word to describe it - surreal.

“Surreal is the right word for it,” Edwards said. “Just the drive in here, you kind of take that long winding road and everything and then the complex just kind of puts up. But, meeting everyone’s been incredible.”

One person he was able to meet was fellow newcomer, Tremaine Edmunds. Edmunds is regarded as one of the best linebackers in the league. In fact, Edwards explained that he has watched film from Edmunds in his pursuit to become a better player.

“I’m excited. I just met him today for the first time, seems like a really good dude. Obviously, I’ve seen a lot of his film and, you know, just being one of the top linebackers in the league, you know, you study guys like that,” Edwards said. “I think there’s a lot of good pieces on this team. I’m excited because I’m sure they’re going to continue to add more and just to build that chemistry is everything.”

As a lifelong Bears fan, he’s looked up to a number of the stars from Chicago’s long history. One of them is Brian Urlacher, a fellow linebacker, who is in the Hall of Fame for his amazing play for the Bears. He played for Chicago from 2000 to 2012; he was named to the Pro Bowl eight times and was an All-Pro four times. Clearly, Edwards has learned from watching the best. Among the other players he admired were Lance Briggs and Devin Hester.

“I was a big (Lance) Briggs fan growing up too,” Edwards said. “And (Devin) Hester, the return in the Super Bowl was always big in my mind, all the memories come back and I think talking with my parents was, it also helped kind of spark that as well, so they were in tears, just excited, ready to get to work.”

Edwards had his strongest season last year, with career-highs in tackles (159), quarterback hits (five), tackles for loss (10) and passes defended (seven), coupled with two sacks and a fumble recovery. It was also the first season he started all 17 games. While the Eagles may have chosen to let him go, Chicago chose to pick him up and give him a three-year, $19.5 million-dollar contract, which included a $4.5 million-dollar signing bonus. It’s yet another step general manager Ryan Poles is making to prepare the Bears for the future.

“For me to get the opportunity to be here, where I grew up, I think is the icing on the cake,” Edwards said. “But, for me, I still just want to continue to be the best football player I can be and help whoever I can, learn as much as I can and you can feel something special brewing here.”

With both Edwards and Edmunds, Chicago seems to have a promising future at linebacker. They’ve added a few other players on defense as well, but it would certainly help to acquire a few more defensive talents in the upcoming NFL Draft. The Bears have a total of 10 draft picks - one in the first round, two in the second, one in the third, two in the fourth, two in the fifth and two in the second. That first round pick needs to be used to address their offense line, but the later draft picks can certainly be used on a defensive player.

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