By Brady Henderson
Based on last season, you might have forgotten that Braylon Edwards was once a No. 3 overall pick, a bona fide No. 1 receiver and a Pro Bowl selection.
One play he made in the Seahawks’ preseason opener against Tennessee served as a reminder.
Braylon Edwards out-muscled a Titans defensive back for a 39-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter. (AP)
In the third quarter, Russell Wilson lobbed up a deep pass down the left sideline for Edwards, who was running stride-for-stride with the defensive back. The 6-foot-3 receiver timed his jump perfectly, wrestled the ball away as he was falling to the ground and secured it while rolling over in the end zone.
The 39-yard score gave Seattle a 17-3 lead.
“That’s just what Braylon’s been doing in practice,” coach Pete Carroll said, “and so that was cool that he carried that over.”
Said Edwards: “I knew it was going to come to me. It was just a matter of me working my technique.”
It was the type of play the Seahawks had in mind when they signed Edwards to a one-year deal hoping he could be the big-bodied receiving threat that Mike Williams was in 2010. With Williams gone, the Seahawks now have Edwards and Terrell Owens competing for what could be one roster spot.
Owens didn’t play Saturday, having just signed with the team on Monday. Neither did Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin or Ricardo Lockette, who were all nursing injuries. That meant plenty of playing time for Edwards. He finished with two catches for a team-high 51 yards and the score.
It was a strong start for a guy who’s trying to put a forgettable 2011 season behind him. Slowed by a knee injury that required two surgeries, Edwards caught just 15 passes in nine games for the 49ers last season before he was released.
“It does feel good. This is the first time I’ve felt healthy and really into it in a while,” he said. “… I’ve worked hard, got a chance, and I’m just trying to give everything I have to this team so they can see that I am serious about football.”