Ray Edwards has nothing to be ashamed of.
Sure, he got ran down Sunday night, but there aren't many people, never mind athletes, in the world that can outrun Philadelphia wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
After Atlanta defensive tackle Peria Jerry exploded through the Eagles offensive line to force a fumble before Eagles quarterback Michael Vick could complete a handoff, Edwards scooped up the fumble and started churning out yards up the field. His eyes were on the end zone and a sure six, but the 6-foot-5, 268-pound pass rusher was caught from behind by Jackson and brought down at the Philadelphia 24-yard line.
Edwards expected to hear a mix of jubilation over the play and a little good-natured ribbing from his teammates once he got to the sidelines. Sure enough, he was right.
"A little bit of both (is what I heard)," he said. "They said 'What happened? I thought you were fast.' (Jackson's) a little faster."
Everything about the play was fast, including the seven seconds it took Edwards to cover 60 yards. He said after he scooped up the ball, he doesn't remember anything else, except the glance up at the Georgia Dome's big screen to see who was in pursuit. Teammate William Moore was doing his best to provide an escort, but Jackson raced from out of nowhere and Edwards saw him coming.
"I saw him on the Jumbotron coming to get me," Edwards said. "I lifted my head up. I should have just kept it down. It happens and I'm just glad we got the ball and got the short field."
Down 10-7 the short field after the fumble return helped put the Falcons back on top just before the half. It took Atlanta four plays to find the end zone that Edwards so desperately wanted and though he wishes he could've scored, he's glad the offense was able to take advantage of the field position.
"If the offense gets on the short field, I'm pretty sure they'll put points on the board, either a field goal or a touchdown," he said. "They did a good job putting it in the end zone."
Still Big Ray couldn't help but laugh a little about it in the locker room after Sunday's hard-fought win. He said Jackson catching up with him was simple math. The wide receiver, known for his speed, runs about a 4.2 40-yard dash and the big defensive end runs in the 4.6. It was only inevitable.
Ray flashed a big smile as he spoke with the media about his first big play with the Falcons. He's glad the Falcons' offense was able to finish what he started. That and putting a W in the win column made smiling a whole lot easier.