After weeks of keeping quiet and dodging reporters, Michigan
wide receiver Braylon Edwards decided it was time to speak out
about his early-season disciplinary struggles with Lloyd Carr, his
future with Michigan football, the Michigan offense and the way he
wants Michigan fans to perceive him – and his message was loud and
clear.

“I’m a good guy, and I just want people to know that,” Edwards
said. “I respect Lloyd Carr to the fullest, and I would never do
anything to disrespect this program. I’m not an arrogant or selfish
individual, and I don’t want to be perceived that way.”

Edwards’ biggest statement dealt with his future with Michigan.
The junior said he has no plans to leave the program after the end
of this season. His decision to come back for his senior season was
based on several factors.

“I want to win the national championship, and that’s not going
to happen this year,” he said. “If I have to stay six years to win
the championship, I’ll stay. Secondly, I love Michigan football,
and I’m not ready to leave yet. I love the college atmosphere, it’s
fun, and I have to get my degree in time.”

Carr’s displeasure over Edwards became public earlier this
season, when he stated that the two were “not on the same page.”
After the loss to Oregon, Carr said his major problem with Edwards
was that he had trouble being on time. Then, Edwards sat almost the
entire first half during the win over Indiana.

Edwards said that during two-a-days in August, he was late for a
meeting that began at 8:30 in the morning.

“I made a mistake, I was a little bit late, and you just don’t
do that,” he said. “When you’re a veteran guy, especially after
just getting the No. 1 jersey, you can’t make mistakes like that,
and I understand that.

“That’s where all the problems came from. It all started from
that one meeting.”

Since the issue became public, Edwards says he has been dealing
with a lot of adversity surrounding assumptions that have been made
about his selfish attitude and its supposed negative effect on the
team.

“Some things are opinions, like when people say that I don’t
deserve the No. 1 jersey, and I can’t worry about that,” he said.
“But when speculations come out based on assumptions about what
Coach Carr said, his words get misconstrued. Then they say things
like, ‘He’s a disruption to the team’ or ‘He’s no good for the
program,’ and that bothers me.

“I feel like people are attacking my integrity.”

Edwards says he fully understands that the public holds him to a
higher standard, especially since he asked to be switched to No. 1,
and he is willing to accept the increased responsibility that comes
with it. He has not doubted his decision to switch for one
second.

“I knew it would be hard,” Edwards said. “Coach Carr warned me
about it, but I told him that I love pressure, so I was ready.”

Edwards has also been criticized for dropping the ball, a
problem that has plagued him ever since he came to Michigan. Still,
he says that although he has dropped passes this year, he does not
feel like he has dropped too many.

Carr says Edwards has played brilliant football the last two
weeks, especially without the ball. When asked if the two were
currently on the same page, Carr had just one word to say:
“Absolutely.”

Carr said the reason he took his issues with Edwards public was
because he thought it was the only way his 20-year old receiver
would get the message. He also said that Edwards might have been
distracted going into season with the hype surrounding the No. 1
jersey.

“I tried to give him the message privately, and he wasn’t
getting it,” Carr said. “But I was never critical of him.

“Braylon is a highly motivated guy, and I think going into a
season like this, wearing the No. 1 jersey, he might have been
distracted a little. But I never had any doubt that Braylon Edwards
was going to have a great year.”

With everything now out in the open, Edwards wants to focus on
helping his team win a Big Ten championship and becoming a good
Michigan man.

“The final goal of a true Michigan football player is to be seen
as a Michigan guy,” Edwards said. “It’s hard to fit into that mold
exactly, and I’m not trying to. I just want to be seen as a good
guy who gets the job done, has great character, and a good
personality.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.