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"This is not the same offensive crew that was here six years ago. It has changed. The years before I got here, it was declining. It wasn't going this way," he says as he moves one hand up. "It was going the other way," he concludes, his hand plunging downward like a crashing plane.
He says he doesn't care that people criticize him — but then his voice rises for a moment. As he gets angry, the secretaries outside his office go silent. His always-expressive eyebrows climb his forehead like a pair of stealth bombers targeting his hairline.
"Because the offense is not scoring a lot of points, people are saying, 'Well, coach doesn't want to throw the ball.' I never said that. That never came out of my mouth."
He pauses for a moment. He doesn't blink before speaking again. It's rare for Edwards to criticize his players publicly, but he places part of the blame for the team's offensive decline on quarterback Damon Huard. "I'm playing a certain way because I know my players, and I know what they can do well. And I'm not going to have Damon Huard throw 35 passes, because if I do, I know it's not going to be very pretty."
Then, as if remembering his prayer to suppress his emotions, he's back to his calm self. He talks about the playoffs.
"If we continue to play the way we've been playing, we've got a shot. And that's all you can ask for. It really depends on this month and how we're going to finish up this month and go into November.
"If you can win some games in November," he continues, "it sets you up pretty good for the December run. After this month, we'll know more about our football team."
Even his mother notices that he doesn't betray his feelings on the sidelines.
"When they show him [on television], he just has his arms crossed and he is standing there," Martha Edwards says. "They don't show him too much because I think he never shows emotions. It's just not interesting enough for them."
It wasn't always that way.
Nobody had a bigger mouth than the teenage Herm Edwards. For his inability to shut up, he earned the nickname "Herm the Germ." He rubbed his shoes with Vaseline so they'd shine in the lights for Friday-night football games. Every chance he got, he reminded anyone who would listen that he'd play in the NFL someday.
"He told all his friends and his coaches, 'You will see me on TV one day,'" Martha Edwards recently told The Pitch from her home in Seaside, California, where Edwards grew up. "They laughed at him. They made fun of him."
So Edwards just said it louder and more often.
He took his boisterous attitude to college, where he bounced around from the University of California-Berkeley to Monterey Peninsula Junior College, then back to Cal and then to San Diego State.
After he graduated, no NFL teams were interested in the skinny defensive end who spent every game in the face of the other teams' wide receivers. But Edwards showed up at the Philadelphia Eagles' training camp and, simply by outworking everyone, ended up a starter by the first preseason game.