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Reunion with OC Greg Roman key in RB Gus Edwards joining Chargers: 'I love this scheme' 

There's expected to be a physical brand of football played by the 2024 Los Angeles Chargers.

Though it's a change for the Bolts, it won't be for recently signed running back Gus Edwards, who was drawn to L.A. by the similar look and feel experienced by him during his six years with the Baltimore Ravens.

"I just thought that it was a great opportunity," Edwards said Monday, via team transcript. "The coaching staff that they put together is incredible. I'm really familiar with [offensive coordinator] coach [Greg] Roman and his scheme, and I just wanted to be a part of it because I already know what his mindset is. Same with [head] coach [Jim] Harbaugh, I already know what his mindset is -- being a physical team, I just wanted to be a part of that."

Above all else, Edwards, who signed a two-year pact with the Chargers in March, was enticed by Roman's design and how it fits the 6-foot-1, 238-pounder's physical rushing style.

"He wants to run the ball and play off of that," Edwards said. "We were very successful with his offense over in Baltimore. I love this scheme, the way that he schemes everything up, and just the whole mindset -- the physicality -- I really like."

Through five NFL seasons (he missed all of 2021 with a torn ACL), Edwards has produced 3,395 yards and 26 touchdowns on the ground. He's coming off a season in which he ran for a career-best 810 yards and 13 TDs. Though that came with Todd Monken as his offensive coordinator, Edwards also did quite well with Roman, gaining 1,897 yards on 364 carries (5.1 yards per carry) to go with 11 touchdowns during their time together from 2019-2022, which included Edwards missing a bevy of games in '22 coming off his aforementioned ACL injury.

Quite clearly, Edwards fits Roman's scheme and the 28-year-old back realized that enough to forge a reunion.

"He wants to see the backs go downhill and I think that's part of my game," Edwards said.

Another glaring similarity between the Ravens and Chargers is that a Harbaugh is leading them.

Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers, Edwards has to this point only played for the Ravens and John Harbaugh. Now, he'll begin a new chapter playing for the Chargers and Jim Harbaugh, but any newness still feels familiar.

"I see a lot of similarities with his brother," Edwards said of Jim. "I don't know if he's a big fan of me saying that [laughter], but I see a lot of similarities. He's kind of like a player-coach. You're real comfortable around him. There are some coaches where, sometimes, if you see them walking down the hallway, you just walk the other way [laughter]. But I've been real comfortable around him. I know his mentality. He wants to win. 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."

Despite switching coasts, the similarities are abundant.

"Besides the colors, I'd say that it's pretty much the same [laughter]," he said. "I've been caught off guard by how much hard work these guys put in. Even the quarterback [Justin Herbert], he's out there leading sets. 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."

One stark difference will be under center.

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is one of the greatest running QBs of all time, whether you're ranking based on statistics or the reigning most valuable player's jaw-dropping highlights. The Chargers' Herbert, though mobile himself, is unlikely to approach 1,000 yards on the ground as Jackson has done twice.

In any single season, Edwards never outgained his quarterback during his run with the Ravens, but that figures to change.

As the Chargers' RB room stands now, Edwards is the clear RB1 and workhorse, joined by Isaiah Spiller, Elijah Dotson and Jaret Patterson. Following a career season, he might just well be getting started as his first opportunity to be the top ground gainer lies ahead of him. It's a chance and a role Edwards is relishing.

"I'm built for it," Edwards said of being a bell-cow back, "and I'm ready for the opportunity."

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