Fourth-year linebacker Kasim Edebali doesn’t have huge numbers to his credit as an NFL pass-rusher. In 48 games (two starts) with the New Orleans Saints, the Boston College product had only 54 tackles (41 solo) and eight sacks. However, the native of Hamburg, Germany has always played an important depth role in addition to being a special teams ace.
With the injury to former first-round pick Shane Ray, Edebali will for now step into the starting OLB role opposite Von Miller. The 27-year-old (he turns 28 on Aug. 17) lined up for first-team reps on Saturday morning, then answered questions from the media like a seasoned starter.
Here’s what Edebali had to say to the gathered media Saturday, quotes courtesy of Broncos media relations.
On having an increased role on defense
“Obviously I’m ready to step up. It’s been my mantra my whole career. If somebody goes down, 91 is called, give it all you got.”
On his pass rushing ability
“I’m very confident. Definitely with guys like [OLB] Von [Miller], every day I learn more and more. Everybody on this team, it’s just kind of like a sponge, you suck certain things up and you learn more. I’m just ready to go.”
On Miller’s preparation for practice
“Sometimes football players can get a little intense, but with Von around I feel like everybody is always relaxed because Von always has a good time. That carries over to the entire room and I’m coming out pretty relaxed too, just ready to perform.”
On picking Von and Shane Ray’s brains
“I’m just watching them to see what they’re doing because they’re two of the greatest rushers in our league. Whatever I can adapt to my own game, that’s what I’m going to do.”
On playing outside linebacker after beginning his career as a 4-3 defensive end
“I do a couple of different things then I’ve done before. As a linebacker, you rush a little bit more. Besides that, on day one everyone welcomed me with open arms and I could feel it. I’m excited to be out here.”
On having international teammates
“It’s pretty special. You don’t see that a lot and I played [T] Menelik [Watson] in college, so we were going against each other when he was at Florida State and I was at Boston College. It’s great having him out here and we learn from each other every day.”
On wearing pads tomorrow
“You want to go all out and show the coaches what you can do but at the same time we need everybody out here, so you don’t want to hurt anybody. We’re going to play tough and smart.”