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Tremaine Edmunds excited to lead turnaround in Chicago: 'I like when the odds are against us'

Tremaine Edmunds has a new team, and a new reason to be excited.

The feeling is mutual between the linebacker and the Chicago Bears, a club brimming with newfound optimism thanks to a productive offseason and the potential of young playmakers like quarterback Justin Fields, among others. Edmunds recognized an opportunity to be a driving force in a club's turnaround, expressing how the thought of joining Chicago invigorated him after five seasons in Buffalo.

Just don't expect a title overnight.

"I was just excited for the opportunity, man," Edmunds said on Wednesday during an appearance on NFL Total Access. "I'm a guy, I like when the odds are against me, I like when the odds are against us. I feel like individuals make the best moves when you're underestimated, and I wanted to go to a team where I could be part of a rebuild. I can be part of turning this thing around, man.

"It's just about knowing there are going to be some thunderstorms sometimes, but you gotta be able to stand through those thunderstorms sometimes long enough to stand through some sunshine one day. Just being a part of that and being a big part of that defense and being a big part of that rebuild, it made me want to be a part of it, for sure."

Edmunds is making up one-third of a linebacking corps that also welcomed former Philadelphia Eagles defender T.J. Edwards this offseason, and includes rising standout Jack Sanborn, who served as a bright spot in a dim 2022 season. Chicago's young secondary -- which features 2022 and 2023 second-round picks in Jaquan Brisker and Tyrique Stevenson -- is also brimming with potential.

A turnaround won't happen overnight, but Edmunds was aware of this when he chose Chicago's four-year, $72 million contract offer in the spring. He's ready to take the lead and share the wisdom learned from his half-decade spent with a perennial contender in Buffalo.

"I think we just got to take it one day at a time," Edmunds said. "I think it's too early to start making predictions. I think it's too early to start putting a ceiling on how high we can actually go. ... If we want to be able to hold that trophy up, man, it's gonna take a hard commitment day in and day out, and I think guys are definitely bought in, and I'm just excited to get this thing rolling."

It's wise to temper expectations for a team that hasn't had many in recent years. There's no telling whether the turnaround actually happens, but as optimism reigns supreme in June, no one can fault Edmunds for riding the wave.

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