Earl Edwards (American football)

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Earl Edwards
Defensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1946-03-17) March 17, 1946 (age 68)
Place of birth: Statesboro, Georgia
Career information
College: Wichita State
NFL Draft: 1969 / Round: 5 / Pick: 120
Debuted in 1969
Last played in 1979
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Games played 150
Games started 98
Fumble recoveries 7
Stats at NFL.com

Earl Edwards (born March 17, 1946 in Statesboro, Georgia) is a former American and Canadian football player [[defensive tackle, offensive tackle and defensive end] Earl played both ways offensively and defensively in college]. He played College football at Wichita State University where Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells was his lineman coach until leaving for Canada. College was a short stop for "Big Earl" because he defended a team member (Melvin Cason), and his input was not appreciated, causing him to leave the team. In his two and a half years at Wichita State University he won; Sophomore Lineman of the Year, All Conference 1st Team, All-Mid West 1st Team, Honorable Mention All American.

In 1967 I was drafted by the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Foot Ball League, only to be traded to the Edmonton Eskimo's without playing a down, for an All star Kicker. Edmonton's offensive line coach Joe Spencer helped me became a stand-out Offensive Tackle (honorable mention All-pro) for two seasons. In 1969 the San Francisco 49ers traded 11 players (6 the first year and 5 the second year) for my draft rights because I still had one year left on my contract with the Canadian team (Edmonton Eskimo's). The 49er general manager Jack White stated in an article in the San Francisco Examiner, that, "if Edwards had remained in college and gone through the regular NFL draft, he would have been the first lineman drafted".

1969, my NFL Rookie season I won the 49er team (rookie of the year) award and was runner-up to Hall of Fame member "Mean Joe Greene" of the Pittsburg Steelers for NFL Defensive Rookie of The Year award. 1971, I was honorable mention All-pro at Defensive Tackle with the 49ers. I feel comfortable saying that I Helped San Francisco win National Football Conference Western Division from 1970-72

1973 I was traded to the Buffalo Bills for 2 players and switched again to defensive end where I received honorable mention All-Pro honors for the Bills. I was also selected for the Kelso award which I shared with O.J. Simpson as the teams most valuable defensive and offensive Players. O.J. Simpson ran for a record breaking 2003 yards that season. In 1974 Street and Smith magazine rated me, Earl Edwards as the most feared outside rusher in the NFL.....

1976 Clevelands defensive co-ordinator Dick Mogaleski and the Cleveland Browns traded 2 players for me to play alongside young Jerry Sherek at defensive tackle. I was brought in to replace Walter Johnson a pretty outstanding defensive tackle in his own right. Coming off a torn hamstring muscle acquired (water sking that summer) I played very little during the 76 season but returned to proper form and status for 77 and 78 seasons. Personally I felt as good with this system and players than any other in my whole career. Dick Mogaleski was a great coach and knew how to handle men.

1979 I retired from football, but was coaxed into returning and helping Green Bay who had had a rash of injuries to their young defensive team by the then Head coach Bart Starr. In his first game back, he made major contributions and sacks in the contest on that Monday night, the game of the week (Oct. 1st, 1979) against Steve Grogan and the New England Patriots. Packers won and he won the game ball which represented the 1000th game played in Packer history. This season ended the career of one of the most versatile linemen in the NFL. He was a "Jack of all trades, yet a master of none".

There was a total of 16 players traded for my services over my career. I never made it to a Pro Bowl, but that wasn't my fault. In 1969 I was added as a member of the Tampa Sports Hall of Fame, one of 52 stars chosen By the Tamps Bay Sports Club.


He helped the San Francisco 49ers win the NFC Western Division from 1970-1972.

Played 11 seasons in the National Football League as a defensive lineman for San Francisco, Buffalo, Cleveland and Green Bay between 1969 and 1979. He was runner-up for NFL Rookie of the Year in 1969 behind Joe Greene. He's a member of the Tampa Sports Hall of Fame, one of 52 local stars chosen by the Tampa Bay Sports Club.

Married to Janice. Has 3 sons Reggie, Gavin (who played college basketball for the Connecticut Huskies[1] and Damien who is a fifth year senior on the University of South Florida football team. I also have two daughters Sandi and Brandi. Sandi is in Calgary Alberta Canada. She is Married to Blaine Ringham, fantastic golfer. Brandi is a graduate from Kansas State University and making a living in Charlotte, South Carolina.[2]

Is now a substitute teacher in Arizona.

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