Braylon Edwards' goal for this year doesn't include a certain number of touchdown grabs, receiving yards or catches. It's simply all about winning.
"I'm just really trying to help this team in every way I can," the wideout said.
Signed last week to his third tour of duty with the Jets, Edwards has been practicing on and off throughout the first week of training camp, as head coach Rex Ryan does not want him participating in too many reps too soon.
Today, Edwards' 6'3" frame was hard to miss as he threw on the pads and got to work. He caught a 15-yard Mark Sanchez pass running from right to left across the field in 7-on-7's early in practice. In 11-on-11's later, he lined up on the right side and ran a quick slant pattern before reeling in a ball from Geno Smith.
Edwards has been impressed with how both quarterbacks have conducted themselves thus far in training camp.
"They're both making some plays, they're both missing some plays," he said, "but I definitely think that they're working well against each other to be at the forefront of this team come September."
Braylon Edwards understands the need for Sanchez and Smith to continue sharing first-team snaps until one emerges as the clear choice to lead the offense, although he does feel that sooner would be better for naming a starter.
"That's between those two, and the offensive coordinator, and the head man," he said. "All I can do is go out there and do my job, and my job is to know my routes, know my splits, know my depths, catch the ball, get open. That's really all you can control as a wideout. If you're doing that, it won't matter who's throwing the ball."
While it's too early in the preseason to predict what kind of role the coaches will ask of Braylon, he's ready to take on whatever part he's assigned.
"If it's a starting role, then go out there and start," he said. "If it's in a role-playing role, go out there and role-play. If it's in a leadership role, go out there and be a leader."
Regardless of where he's penciled in on the depth chart, the leadership role will likely be something his teammates and coaches will expect. With Santonio Holmes currently on the Active–Physically Unable to Perform list, Edwards' nine years in the league give him at least three times as much professional experience as the next wide receiver on the field. As one of the veterans, he leads by example through his actions, not his words.
"You don't even have to talk. This isn't a rah-rah New York Jet organization," he said. "It's just a 'let's just go do it.' "
As long as whatever "it" is involves winning, Edwards and the Jets will be OK.