Kasim Edebali is confident, passionate about role with New Orleans Saints


After the release of Junior Galette, some pass rushing jobs are up for grabs in the New Orleans Saints organization.  Kasim Edebali, an undrafted rookie in 2014 who showed flashes of strong play at times a year ago, looks to be right in the mix for an extended role with the team.

Like last season, Edebali is taking reps at outside linebacker, and with Parys Haralson evidently making the switch to defensive end (at least he’s practicing there), Kasim’s chances of earning a starting bit are becoming more and more realistic.

But Kasim Edebali doesn’t seem to care about all that.  While extended time on the field is a goal, he just wants to do what whatever he can to help his team win. Following a Wednesday session of padded practice at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, the Hamburg, Germany native spoke with the media, expressing his confidence and passion about his role with the Saints in his second year.

“I’m a team player,” Edebali said. “Whatever position the team needs me in, I’m ready to do. No matter whether it’s in pass rush or special teams, I’m just ready to go where my name is called. I feel very comfortable rushing the passer, just going with speed, and trying to be productive.”

Kasim Edbali is used to flying under the radar.

“I mean I’m definitely used to it. It started when I was getting recruited for college. You know I’m a kid from Germany, grew up in Germany, came over here and barely spoke English, so I’m used to it. But at the end of the day it’s all about the work you put in and the production put on the field.”

He said flying under the radar drives him everyday. Edebali also mentioned how “the veterans have helped a lot” with his transition into the NFL.  He specifically pointed out tight end Benjamin Watson, who is a well-respected presence both on and off the field.

Edebali was a staple in Boston College‘s unit as a defensive end, recording 67 tackles, 9.5 sacks, five passes defended and three forced fumbles as a senior.  During his rookie season down on the bayou, he was a special teams connoisseur while also totaling 22 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in just 181 snaps compared to Cam Jordan and Junior Galette, who played a combined total of over 1800 snaps.

He’s been looking good so far, but as training camp progresses, Kasim Edebali is definitely somebody to continue to root for, and really seems like a true class act.  There’s a pretty cool story behind the helmet.  At the age of 18 and speaking limited English, he hopped on a plane from his native country Germany to the United States as part of the USA Football International Student Program.

Before redshirting as a freshman at Boston College in 2009, he prepped at Kimball Union Academy, a school in Meridan, New Hampshire.  He actually played as a tight end for the German under-19 national team before making the switch to defensive end in the States.

With pass rushing jobs up for grabs, head coach Sean Payton will find the best man, but Kasim Edebali certainly shouldn’t be counted out as one of many faces involved in an uphill battle.  His confidence and passion could very well pay off.

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