Mike Lucas: Inside linebacker rotation keeps Badgers sharp

ryan connelly tj edwards wisconsin badgers 2017

bsn lucasWhether T.J. Edwards is playing alongside of Ryan Connelly or Chris Orr — or monitoring them from the sideline when he's out of the game — there's a constant among these inside linebackers.


Despite unique personalities (Orr is by far the most loquacious) and diverse backgrounds (Edwards and Connelly are former prep quarterbacks), their play-making has been a common thread.

So, has their resilience to individual challenges. Edwards and Connelly, a former walk-on, have lost game snaps and practice time to injuries. Orr lost a whole season to a torn ACL.

On the field, they have their own styles. But it hasn't forced Edwards, for instance, to make in-game adjustments from series to series predicated on his partner, Connelly or Orr.

"They're different type players," Edwards said of his teammates. "They play at different levels in terms of speed, things like that. But they both do things well. I think they'd say the same about me.

"I have different strengths and weaknesses than they do. But there's one thing you can be sure about: they know what they're going to be doing and I know what I'm going to be doing.

"Just having that chemistry with them is what makes it easy. I never doubt if they're going to be in the right gap or anything like that."

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