Who's Afraid of Braylon Edwards? - NBC New York

Who's Afraid of Braylon Edwards?



    Who's Afraid of Braylon Edwards?
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    "If only I wasn't in Cleveland...I would have caught that."

    Both the Jets and Dolphins were lacking a deep threat heading into Monday night's game. The Jets went out and got one, taking Braylon Edwards off Eric Mangini's sausage fingers in Cleveland.

    To hear some people tell it, Braylon Edwards is the new Jerry Rice and the whole Jets offense and we're all going to die Monday night in a hail of deep balls and misery.

    Let's explore that:

    Fact: Edwards has had only one good year in his five-season NFL career. In 2007, with 80 passes for 1,289 yards and 16 touchdowns, he made a Pro Bowl. Since then, his numbers have tanked: through Cleveland's first four games, had just 10 catches. He didn't have a single reception in Sunday's overtime loss to the Bengals.

    Defense: He was playing in Cleveland, and everything is terrible there.

    Fact: Edwards has oven mitts for hands. He led the league in drops last season with 16, and has never had a catch rate (targets/catches) higher than 54 percent.

    Defense: Drops are a murky statistic, and effort can actually lower reception rates by making too many bad throws look like a possibility. Also, he was playing in Cleveland, and everything is terrible there.

    Fact: If you have to make that murky stats argument, you have been playing like crap.

    Defense: None. He was playing in Cleveland, and terrible there.

    Fact: Edwards has personal issues, allegedly punched the tiniest member of Lebron James' entourage Saturday night, and his quarterback hated him.

    Defense: Michael Irvin stabbed a man with scissors and was still Michael Irvin. But Edwards was playing in Cleveland, and everything is terrible there, including Derek Anderson.

    Fact: Edwards has practiced two days with the Jets, and doesn't know the offense.

    Defense: The Cleveland and New York systems have a lot in common. Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer worked for a few years in San Diego with Former Browns OC Rob Chudzinsk. (But Chud came from Cleveland, and everything is terrible there.)

    Fact: At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Edwards still posesses the size to win balls in the air. Safeties are forced to pay attention, which can only help the Jets' running game, so even if he doesn't light up the stats sheet he is still an effective weapon.

    Defense: J.Lo in tight pants on the sideline.

    Fact: The Dolphins' safeties are 50% terrrible.

    Defense: None.

    Conclusion: Everything is terrible in Cleveland. But Edwards can be a threat in New York if he can remember how to catch, fits in well with a team for the first time, and withstands the pressure of a major media market and an expiring contract.

    Remember when blah Wes Welker escaped Miami and Joey Harrington for the bosom of Tom Brady? His catches per drop rate increased a whopping 67%. It happens.

    Will it happen for Edwards as soon as Monday? Probably not.

    And if Braylon Edwards does go Pro Bowl on the Dolphins Monday, it's because he's on a strong 3-1 team playing a weak 1-3 team with half a safety and two rookie corners getting a lot of time, so worrying too much about him in particular is silly.

    You have a lot of things to worry about, Dolphins fan, and there's so little time.