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Ben Edwards has yet to realize his dream of playing in the NFL, but he took one step closer over the weekend after earning a contract with the New York Giants.
The former York High football standout and University of Richmond product participated in the Giants’ three-day rookie mini-camp over the weekend. More than a year removed from ACL surgery, Edwards impressed Giants coaches enough to earn a contract with the team.
This year’s mini-camp was a far cry from last year’s for Edwards, who was still recovering from surgery.
“The first time around I had a tryout it wasn’t exactly in the form of a mini-camp. I just had an hour workout with the wide receivers coach and some quarterbacks running a lot of routes,” he said.
“This time with the mini camp it was different where they actually had us learning the playbook, doing meetings and doing stuff in the weight room. It gave me the opportunity to show them I can run routes, but I can also learn the playbook because I’m a smart guy. I think that ultimately helped me earn a contract with the Giants.”
During the rookie mini-camp, Giants coaches praised Edwards’ quickness and his ability to make people miss. Giants Coach Tom Coughlin told Edwards he needs to keep proving he can be a shifty player that can play underneath or occasionally outside.
Earning a contract with the Giants is a good first step for Edwards, but the Yorktown native knows things only get harder from here. Edwards will remain in New York as he prepares to participate in the Giants’ Organized Team Activities.
In the NFL, OTAs precede training camp and take place in the spring. Teams in the NFL use OTAs as a chance to develop players and help prepare them for the rigors of a full training camp. In between OTAs, which for the Giants will be held for 10 days spread out from May 27 to June 12, players participate in weightlifting sessions and conditioning.
For Edwards, OTAs provide a good opportunity to learn the Giants playbook and prove himself during limited contact practices. As one of 12 wide receivers on the team, Edwards has to prove his worth to the Giants if he wants to make it to training camp.
“I need to keep showing the New York Giants that they need me to stick around, he said. “I just have to keep proving myself every single day. Unlike a lot of the vets and other players that have already been on the team, I need to fight every single day so that they need to keep me around. My mindset is to work harder than I ever have.”
As a rookie in the NFL on a team with plenty of talent at the wide receiver position, Edwards knows he cannot afford to have a bad day of OTAs or it could spell the end of his chances with the Giants.
Despite the constant pressure to perform, Edwards has his mind set on competing every day to realize his dream of suiting up and playing in the NFL.
“I’m excited because I finally have the opportunity to prove myself, but my dream has not even halfway come true,” he said. “My mindset is to work my butt off. I’m in no way satisfied. I just want to keep working.”