Braylon Edwards aims to be starter

Updated: July 25, 2013, 9:39 PM ET
By Jane McManus | ESPNNewYork.com

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Braylon Edwards arrived at the New York Jets training camp a day after he re-upped with the team for the third time. His counterpart, Santonio Holmes, who reported in Florham Park with teammates for the initial check-in, hadn't arrived by the time of the team's first meeting.

Coach Rex Ryan said he expected Holmes "at some point" to be around the team as he rehabs his foot injury, but there is still no timeline for Holmes' return to the field. Recently, Holmes said he isn't yet running, much less cutting.

"Not sure when he's going to be cleared, but I will say this: He's been at the facility working his tail off," Ryan said. "So, hopefully, he'll be cleared soon and be ready to get out there with his teammates. I know that's what he wants."

Edwards made it clear he didn't see himself as a temporary stand-in for Holmes.

"Santonio will be back out here when he can get back here," Edwards said. "My job is to go out there and do what they need me to do. Go out there and practice and play to start. That's why I came here. I didn't come as a role [player] or I'm going to help. I came to start."

At least two of the Jets' receivers are on the same page. Edwards rode to Cortland with former Browns teammate Kellen Winslow. They reminisced about the start of their careers, and the opportunities they now have as veterans.

"Here we are again with another chance to make some magic," Edwards said.

Ryan did sound a note of caution when he floated the idea of having Edwards on a "pitch count." Last year, the Jets restricted practice reps for safety LaRon Landry, and before that running back LaDainian Tomlinson, to keep them fresh for games.

"I'll lean on medical staff," Ryan said.

But Edwards said he didn't have any injuries that would prompt limitations.

"If I had an injury, I don't think I'd be here right now. I think that's a decision Rex wants to make," he said. "Maybe it's because I'm getting older. I'm the big 3-0 right now. So I think [that] might have something to do with it, definitely not injury. I'm 100 percent healthy for the first time in a while."

But Edwards said he respected Ryan's thinking on that and would follow suit. He came in at 215 pounds, down from last season's 228, after former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said he liked Edwards leaner. This offseason, even when he wasn't officially a Jet, Edwards did more cardio and less lifting in his workouts.

Edwards said Ryan seems like he's back to his 2010 self as well, predicting this Jets team will be free of some of the problems from past years. He said in the past, players have gotten more involved in stuff that didn't concern them, but now everyone is staying in their lanes.

"Worry about yourself," Edwards said.

So when asked about the quarterback competition between Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith, Edwards expressed some big hopes for the season.

"Mark is definitely a friend of mine off the field, as well as away from the Jets, so I wish him well and I hope he can be the guy," Edwards said. "But at the same time, I'm a Jet first. So I hope the guy that wins the job is the guy that's going to help us prepare to the next level, the guy who is going to take us to the playoffs and get us back where we belong, hopefully even further. So whichever guy that is, that's the guy I want to win."

Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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