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Ray Edwards coming on for Falcons

As soon as the lockout ended, the first thing the Atlanta Falcons did was sign free-agent defensive end Ray Edwards.

Plug in the former Minnesota Viking across from John Abraham and the Falcons suddenly would have one of the league’s better pass rushes. At least that’s how the thinking went at the time.

But it didn’t quite start out that way. Edwards didn’t record a sack in the first four games. After the opener against Chicago, the Falcons went three full games without producing a sack.

But things are starting to change. Edwards has recorded a sack in each of the past two games.

“I really think that Ray is becoming more comfortable in our scheme,’’ Atlanta coach Mike Smith said Monday. “His get-off the last couple of games has been very impressive. He’s been able to win the snap. When I say win the snap, his first step has been very quick and he’s been able to get on some edges and I really felt, especially there in the second half when we made some slight adjustments at halftime, that we did some very good things in terms of rushing the passer. It’s nice to see Ray have the production. Again, sacks sometimes are overrated, but we are seeing the type of pressure that we need to see from Ray. I like the way that he’s playing.”

The Falcons still have a lot of things to improve on as they try to snap out of a season-long funk. But, with Edwards starting to surge, the defensive line might not be a problem any longer.