This just in: Edge isn't a young cat anymore. Today is the day that most people agree running backs start to wear down and deteriorate, his 30th birthday. Don't tell Edge that though, he'll be quick to tell you that he won't fall into that 'cliche:'
"That’s like a cliché," James said, laughing. "I don’t think that applies to me. After all I’ve done, the way I take care of my body, I’m not even concerned with it. Some guys, they haven’t even played as long as I have and they are missing practices, not able to play every game.
While no one can outrun father time, Edge has been incredibly durable the past five seasons (averaged 333 carries) and he keeps himself in amazingly good shape. Another aspect that won't effect him as much as it does other aging backs, is that his game is based on excellent vision and quick, decisive cuts instead of flat out foot speed. There's also optimism that the Cardinals new zone blocking scheme (much more to come on that next week) will fit Edge's running style better than the man/power scheme that has been a Cardinal staple since he came to the desert. In addition to this, Edge has a higher motivation, he wants to be remembered as one of the best running backs to play the game. With a season similar to his 2007 campaign he'd move into 7th on the all-time rushing list and would be within 1,000 yards of top 5 all-time.
While it's possible to point to certain aspects that could lead to Edge having his best season in the desert, there's also some concern that a promising rookie and an offense designed around passing could cut into his carries. While everyone is probably getting carried away with Tim Hightower talk, it's clear that the coaching staff likes the way that he runs and if he can maintain the intensity once the hitting starts, he could be in line for his fair share of carries.
So here's the question to the Cardinal fandom: How many more productive years does Edge have left? Also, is Edge a top 5 back of all time in your mind, if not where does he rank? Is he the Cardinal back since the team came to Arizona?