The end for Edgerrin James’ time in Arizona was long expected before it actually happened, a drawn-out process in which the running back became a prime contributor to the Cards’ Super Bowl run before he was eventually released right after the Cards drafted Beanie Wells in April’s draft. After that, it came out that his significant other and mother to his children had passed away after a long battle with leukemia — something Edge dealt with all last season with many (including most of his teammates) in the dark about the situation.
The Cards will see Edge again Sunday, since James signed with the Seahawks as a reserve running back. It’s odd in some ways, since Edge always insisted he wasn’t a backup, but maybe reality — both in the form of his personal tragedy and the business of the NFL when it comes to an older running back — put that better into focus. He has 105 yards on 37 carries playing behind Julius Jones, apparently adding something other than yards to the team.
“He is great in the locker room,” Seahawks coach Jim Mora said. “Great attitude. He has accepted his role. That doesn’t mean he necessarily likes it. He obviously wants to carry the football. But he has not been a distraction at all.”
Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner admitted “it’ll be weird seeing him on the other side of the field.” Defensive lineman Darnell Dockett said he was looking forward to seeing Edge, but he downplayed that there would be a heightened sense of trash-talking.
“I talk to everybody,” Dockett said. “I’ve got my way of speaking, my own language that I use to guys, it don’t matter who I’m playing against.”
As for Edge, he not surprisingly is playing down the reunion. The Seahawks played James’ other former team, the Colts, two weeks ago, and Edge acknowledged that carried more weight with him.
“Indianapolis was a little different (because) I had so many years there,” James said. “But it’s football. You go out and play football and you do what you’ve got to do. It’s not that big a deal. It’s a football game.”
Edge never struck me as the grudge-holding type — hey, life’s too short, and Edge always seemed to get that — and so it also wasn’t surprising that he said there is no extra motivation (and besides, in his role, it’s not like he will even have a chance to, say, try and hang a 150-yard rushing day on his ex-mates). He did say the way it ended in Arizona gave him zero regrets because “it worked out perfect for me.”
“I had personal things I needed to deal with,” James said. “That was my main focus. So I was able to deal with those things. Football was secondary.”
Tags: Beanie Wells, Darnell Dockett, Edgerrin James, Kurt Warner
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