No matter what walk of life it is that you find yourself in, it's always important that you have goals for yourself. It's also important that you keep those goals at least partially grounded in reality.
Which brings us to Ray Edwards, who right now is the fourth Musketeer alongside of Jared Allen, the Irresistible Force, and the Immovable Object. He has a goal for himself for the 2008 season. That goal? Oh, nothing major. . .just taking down Michael Strahan's record of 22.5 sacks in a season.
Edwards isn't chasing boxing titles, but he is stalking the NFL sack record, held by NY Giants star end Michael Strahan. "I look up to Strahan. I learned a lot from him watching and studying his film." Then Edwards threw in another eye-popping statement: "This year I definitely plan on going out here and breaking Strahan's record of 22 and 1/2 sacks this year."
Wow. Edwards didn't mince words. But it was spoken with confidence, not arrogance. And don't forget, Jared Allen is on the other side, who had 15.5 sacks as a Pro Bowl end in Kansas City. The Vikings paid Allen millions to leave the Chiefs. That's heady company that Edwards keeps.
"You want to be the best, you have to go after the best so that's what I want to do. I want to be the best that ever played this game so you got to go after it."
Well, then. . .so much for that whole "reality" thing.
Don't get me wrong. . .I like Ray Edwards as a player quite a bit. I love the committment he's shown since being shown the door for the last 4 games of the season last year, where he (arguably) could have made a difference. And, quite frankly, the guy probably won't see a double-team all season long. . .not with the other guys on the D-line for Minnesota that teams are going to have to worry about. As I've mentioned before, Al Noga managed to rack up 11.5 sacks one year when he played next to Chris Doleman, Henry Thomas, and Keith Millard. Edwards has the physical ability to be at least that good.
But let's not get carried away. . .the Vikings haven't had a player rack up double-digit sacks since Kevin Williams put up 10.5 in 2004. I fully expect that to change this year, and I'd love nothing more than to see more than one Viking reach that level. But 23 sacks in a season? Particularly when there's no Brett Favre out there to take a dive so you can have a gimme? That's a pretty tall order. We'll just have to see how things develop.
EDITORS NOTE: Thanks to the folks at Vikings Message Board for pointing out my error. I initially had John Randle as part of that D-line, but it was Keith Millard that was there instead. This is what happens when you start typing faster than you think. (-: