His playing time had not significantly increased in his first three seasons, and his production, if anything, had dropped the past two years.
"Definitely I get impatient. A player wants to play. I'm harder on myself than any coach can be on me," Edwards said this week. "I put a lot on my shoulders. I just use it as motivation when I'm not playing. I think it's going to pay off for me this year."
Along with the pressure he puts on himself, Edwards took something off - a good chunk of weight.
After setting a goal of dropping 10 pounds in the offseason, Edwards watched as the weight "just kept falling off." The initial 10 quickly became 15 and eventually 30. Edwards, who played last season at 315, had gotten to 285 and had to add five pounds for the start of training camp.
Edwards has had four tackles in each of the team's first two preseason games.
"We played the Giants last week and I remember watching film, and I watched last year's game, and I can't believe how much quicker I look and how I'm just flying around the field to the ball," said Edwards, whose weight loss has allowed him to also play more at defensive end. "It's amazing to see the difference."
Edwards accomplished his goal, and more, by giving up sugared drinks - including Gatorade and the juices favored by 7-year-old daughter Kaitlin and 3-year-old son Dwan - and playing as much basketball as he could around Baltimore over the winter.
"I cut all that stuff out and slimmed up a lot. I couldn't believe it myself," Edwards said. "My wife doesn't even recognize me."
Since the Ravens drafted him with their first overall pick in 2004 - he was the 51st pick overall - Edwards has felt pressure to produce. He was inactive for all but four games of his rookie year, had 38 tackles in 12 games in 2005 but had just 12 in nine games last season. He is still looking for his first career sack.
"The organization definitely places it on you as their first pick. They want results and I want results for myself, and it just didn't work out that way, for whatever reason," Edwards said. "I just use it as motivation to keep working hard."
Edwards has received positive feedback from his teammates.
"He has done a complete transformation, not only to his body, but also mentally," left guard Jason Brown said. "He is a machine out there. We call him 'Wiggle' because he is so quick laterally, but then he can take his rush and move from speed to power. He's always been fast and powerful, but he is faster and more powerful."
Mad at Madden
Justin Bannan isn't much of a video-game aficionado, but it seems doubtful that the Ravens defensive tackle will be playing "Madden '08" anytime soon. Bannan isn't too happy with the man whose name adorns the game.
Bannan's dismay stems from comments John Madden made during Sunday's telecast of the Ravens-New York Giants game at M&T; Bank Stadium. On a second-and-one early in the second quarter, Bannan jumped offside and ran into Giants right guard Chris Snee.
"I'd be mad at that. I mean, you're down there in a stance. All you have to do is reach across there and touch him. To me, there's different types of cheap shots, and this is one," Madden said.
Bannan heard the remarks when he watched the game on tape at home.
"When I watched it, I couldn't believe what he said," Bannan said after practice yesterday in Owings Mills. "All I did is jump offsides. You can't stop on a dime when you're coming out of your stance. It was pretty comical to me. It's just ridiculous, in my mind."
Tight end Daniel Wilcox returned to practice yesterday after missing more than two weeks because of a sprained left ankle, but he said it's still a "day-to-day process to see how it heals and see how it feels." Wilcox said he can run straight ahead, but he has yet to try making cuts.
Others who returned to the practice field were defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, with his left knee still wrapped; running back P.J. Daniels, who had been out since pulling a hamstring warming up for the preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles; and running back-return specialist Cory Ross, who missed a day because of the flu.
Reserve offensive tackle Steve Edwards said he had arthroscopic surgery Monday on his right knee, where he tore the meniscus.
Linebacker Terrell Suggs had lunch with Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer, who played football with Suggs at the Jimmy Lee Rec Center growing up in St. Paul, Minn. Mauer, whose Twins are playing the Orioles this weekend, visited the Ravens' training facility in Owings Mills.
Sun reporter Edward Lee contributed to this article.