Feb 15, 2014, 5:39 PM EDT
So if this whole NASCAR thing doesn’t work out – and don’t forget he IS in the final season of his existing contract with Roush Fenway Racing – maybe Carl Edwards has a future in the NFL.
In yet another attempt to prove to naysayers that NASCAR drivers are indeed full-fledged athletes, Edwards recently went through a simulated NFL-style combine to show his athletic prowess.
In a final tuneup before the start of the 2014 NASCAR season, Edwards worked out at Velocity Sports Performance in Bristol, Tenn., in front of former University of Tennessee and national champion head football coach Phil Fulmer and current East Tennessee State head coach Carl Torbush.
Edwards went through a number of skill tests that measured elements including agility, quickness and flexibility. In addition, he went through a number of drills involving passing, pass defense and blocking.
Even though Edwards’ height and buff upper body might make him a great candidate for a wide receiver, Fullmer and Torbush thought he was a natural at another position.
“I learned a little bit about being a defensive back,” Edwards said. “I realized as these guys talked to me that the sport of football is very technical – just like racing. You have to work on it for years to get better.”
Fullmer and Torbush were impressed by Edwards’ natural athletic talent. He handled everything thrown at him with aplomb, leading the coaches to half-jokingly/half-seriously suggest that maybe Edwards should declare himself eligible for April’s NFL Draft.
At 34, Edwards would be an old NFL rookie. But being one of the most fit and in-shape drivers in the NASCAR garage, Edwards has speed not just in his race car, but in his two legs.
The biggest question mark, though, is we already know what he can do going forward in a Sprint Cup car. But how would he do backpedaling against some pretty swift – and younger – NFL wide receivers?
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