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2012 Falcons Offseason: Ray Edwards Hoping For Return To Greatness

Defensive end Ray Edwards certainly didn't have the successful season many expected in 2011.

Edwards signed a five-year, $30-million contract with Atlanta as a free agent last summer, but had just three sacks in his first season with the Falcons. Now, he's planning for an improved 2012.

In an interview with NFL.com, Edwards said an earlier offseason knee surgery should help his preparation. He had surgery a month before camp last season. This year, he's had months to rest following a surgery early in the offseason.

He also addressed the belief that he was only successful with the Minnesota Vikings because he was playing on the same line with Jared Allen.

"I laugh at that because I know how hard I work, I know the work that I put in," Edwards said. "I laugh because somebody's always going to have something to say, good bad or indifferent. Last year I let it get to me because everybody was like, 'He's this, he's not that', so I was putting extra pressure on myself. Now I'm going to play my game and let that speak for itself."

The Falcons sure hope so.

For more on the Atlanta Falcons check out The Falcoholic. For more news and notes from around the NFL head over to SB Nation's NFL page.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.