At the close of his rookie season, the wear and tear of his first NFL season left him bruised, battered and 10 pounds lighter than he had been when he started the year. A rigorous offseason training regimen prior to the 2008 season led to the addition of 12 pounds of lean muscle to his upper body helping him withstand some of the punishment that quarterbacks typically take in a 16-game schedule.
But Trent Edwards still did not feel that his endurance was still not where he wanted it to be last year. Evidence of that surfaced in Week 13 of the 2008 campaign when he suffered a groin injury that forced him to leave Buffalo's game against San Francisco at the end of the first half. The Bills would go on to lose 10-3. Edwards meanwhile missed the next two games, also losses as Buffalo's season went down the drain.
Edwards felt he lacked the staying power to plow through the final quarter of the season with the same strength and endurance with which he started.
In coming to this conclusion Edwards sought out the advice of another quarterback in the league that seemingly improved as the season wore on in New Orleans' Drew Brees, who led the league in passing (5,069) and came within 16 yards of passing Dan Marino's single season passing yardage record.
Brees recommended a training program called TRX. It's a suspension training system invented by a former Navy SEAL where the weight of your body is used to develop core strength, improve performance and stamina while reducing injury potential.
"It's sort of a strap-system that incorporates all body weight motion, and is really focused on flexibility and muscle strength," said Edwards. "I really spent a long time working with my trainer on those sorts of drills and exercises, and so far it's worked out. So far so good."
Edwards trained with Ross Headley in his native California four to five times a week. With only the weight of his body working against him the typical soreness that accompanies free weight workouts was absent.
"The workouts I was doing wasn't necessarily weight lifting because it wasn't my joints that were getting sore," said Edwards. "It was mostly the muscles and I really feel like the smaller muscles in my core and my quads, and all over my body are stronger."
With his entire body more developed and defined Edwards feels his stamina and endurance will be far superior to what it was the past two seasons.
"I think I'll notice it more come Week 11 or 12 where instead of hitting that wall I'll feel stronger," he said. "It's not that I didn't feel where I needed to be going into last year, it's just a matter of being where I still need to be in Week 12 or 13."
Edwards feels especially stronger in his lower body, which was a focus for him this offseason, and that can take some of the torque off his throwing arm. When there's improved lower body strength to drive his hips into his passes there's less stress on his arm, which was also sore and tired at season's end in 2008.
Buffalo's quarterback is confident his new training regimen has his entire body finely tuned and prepared for the physical demands that an NFL season can dish out. And ultimately it should make Edwards a stronger more durable quarterback from September through January.
"My legs will be there come the end of practice, come the end of the game, come the end of the season," Edwards said. "And that's what I was aiming to do."