Braylon Edwards humbled by inspiring speech
Marcus Henry | 4/12/2011, 4:46 p.m.
FOXBOROUGH - Even the most arrogant and talented of athletes can be put in his or her place every now and then.
Enter Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards, a flashy guy who has endured the wrath of everyone, from the media, to the fans, to the police following his arrest for DUI earlier this season.
But Edwards displayed a completely different tone following the Jets 28-21 win over the Patriots in an AFC Divisional playoff game last Sunday. Edwards had two catches for 52 yards and a touchdown. He was thankful and grateful in the moments following the game, but not for the obvious reasons.
Former Jets defensive end Dennis Byrd, whose budding career ended in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs in 1992 after being paralyzed from the neck down following a violent collision with teammate Scott Mersereau, gave the Jets an inspiring speech the night before the game.
It was an uplifting speech that nearly left Edwards without words.
"We take for granted the opportunity that we've been given. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of things in which we deserve," Edwards said. "But we take for granted the opportunity to be able to play football every day. I think we take that for granted every once in a while and we need to be bought back to reality. And we need to be humble. And that's what he did last night. He humbled us. He just told us that it's not promised."
Edwards said the speech left him sleepless. Seeing Byrd, who can walk with some assistance now, made him realize just how lucky he is to be getting paid a handsome salary to play a sport. Byrd told the Jets he would trade everything to have just one more play.
"Any play could be your last play. Any day can be your last day," Edwards said. "All I can still hear in the back of my mind is, 'I will trade anything for one play'. He didn't say another season, he didn't say one game...Do you know what one play is? One play lasts maybe...maybe six seconds."
Six seconds is a lifetime to some people.