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Why Gus Edwards 'Wanted to be a Part' of the Chargers Offense

Gus 04.09

The Chargers made a lot of sense for Gus Edwards when he hit free agency.

"I just thought that it was a great opportunity," Edwards said Monday when he met with reporters for the first time since signing with the Bolts.

The veteran running back, who joined the Bolts after six seasons in Baltimore, is in line to be the Bolts top running back in 2024 after rushing for 810 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.

Edwards was a steady, physical presence of the Ravens backfield since entering the league in 2018, including under Chargers Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman, who was the offensive coordinator there from 2019 to 2022.

Edwards pointed to the familiarity with the offensive playcaller and the tough brand of football Head Coach Jim Harbaugh wants to play as some of the biggest factors that brought him to the Bolts.

"I'm really familiar with Coach Roman and his scheme, and I just wanted to be a part of it because I already know what his mindset is," Edwards said. "Same with Coach Harbaugh, I already know what his mindset is — being a physical team, I just wanted to be a part of that."

Knowing what to expect in a Roman offense from a scheme and mentality perspective after their time together in Baltimore makes the transition that much easier.

Although there are some small differences the basics are similar, and Edwards said he's been able to pick everything up from the jump.

"It makes it a lot easier to adjust because you kind of know what to expect, especially with the terminology — it makes it kind of easier for you to memorize and everything," Edwards said. "It helps my transition to be more smooth."

Edwards later added: "I love this scheme, the way that he schemes everything up, and just the whole mindset — the physicality — I really like."

The veteran running back said he was ready to bring the downhill, physical style of play in the run game that Harbaugh and General Manager Joe Hortiz have referenced during the offseason to the Chargers.

It's something he knows how to do well and not too different from what he did in time in Baltimore playing with Harbaugh's older brother, John.

Edwards spoke glowingly about the early interactions with his new head coach, as he sees a lot of things in common with his older brother in how they want to play and how they lead.

"I see a lot of similarities with his brother. I don't know if he's a big fan of me saying that, but I see a lot of similarities," Edwards said with a laugh. "He's kind of like a player-coach. You're real comfortable around him."

"I know his mentality. He wants to win," Edwards later added. "He's been very into everything. He's been in the meeting rooms with us. He hasn't been staying away from the team. He's in the weight room with us. It's been great to just see his face around."

Check out some photos of the Chargers Phase 1 Week 2 workout from the 2024 off-season program

That team mentality has made its way to the early part of Phase One, where the running back was caught by surprise on how hard the team has worked so early on and how Justin Herbert led the way in some sets.

It's one of the things that has stood out for him so far as they have set the tone early in the voluntary offseason program.

"Besides the colors, I'd say that it's pretty much the same [as the Ravens]," Edwards said with a laugh. "I've been caught off guard by how much hard work these guys put in.

"Even [Herbert], he's out there leading sets," Edwards added. "It's caught me off guard by just how determined — and not saying that I didn't expect it — but it's definitely way more than I expected, of how determined the team is and how much work that they put in."

Edwards is ready to go, and he's willing to do whatever it takes to help Herbert and the offense succeed and get to the vision they want to achieve.

"Whatever I'm asked to do," Edwards said. "Justin is our quarterback. He's a big part of our offense. If I'm in there, he will be protected. Whatever the coaches ask me to do, I'm ready to do that.

"What do I think that it's going to look like? I think that we're going to be a physical team," Edwards continued. "I think that is what the guys that we have been bringing in as of late, that's what everybody has in common — some bigger guys, some more physical guys.

Edwards added: "Just going off of what the last couple weeks have been bringing, I'd say that we're going to be physical."

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