One thing everyone can agree on around the Atlanta Falcons is the importance of pass rush.
Friday's signing of signaled an attempt to add to that area of the defense, but there are players on the roster who don't intend to let the new guy do all the work.
In exit interviews with the coaching staff last season, 2010 third-round pick Corey Peters was told more pass rush was needed from the defensive tackle position. Peters, a starter in 15 games last season, recorded one sack last season and was an integral part of the defensive line rotation that helped place the Falcons run defense in the top ten of the league.
This year they'd like to be in the top 10 in quarterback sacks as well.
"I think that we all agree that the pass rush needs to get better, from my position," Peters said. "That's one of the things we're focusing on this year. Of course we went out and got Ray. That's one of our big focus is improving the pass rush. I feel like I'm a big part of that. I definitely have to step my game up to a much higher level in that category."
The addition of Edwards is a hopeful one. In comes a guy who sacked the quarterback eight times last season and brings the experience of a player entering his sixth season. The tight-knit crew of the defensive line is welcoming him with open arms regardless of the heightened competition he brings.
"He seems like a nice guy. I haven't had an opportunity to get to know him that well. Anything to help the defense and the defensive line especially. We're just always trying to get better. That's the nature of the business so you've got to perform around here or they'll get somebody that will."
The cerebral former Kentucky Wildcat spent the offseason working on sharpening the specific skills required at the interior D-line position. No one wants to hold predictions over their heads, but Peters has some numbers in mind that will mean the Atlanta Falcons defensive line can conjure up images of historic Falcons lines like the Grits Blitz of the late '70's and the Bomb Squad of the late '90's.
"Hopefully (Edwards) can be a 10-sack guy and Abe (Vic Beasley Jr.) can continue and be a 10, 12-sack guy and me and Babs (Jonathan Babineaux) can both get six or seven sacks," Peters said. "That's what we're hoping and that's what we're working towards."