Hey, Reed This For Me

Some of the best players in the history of this game have played on the defensive side. More so, in the secondary. Whenever safeties come up, of course Ronnie Lott’s name is first, and he’s considered to be the greatest safety of all time. There’s Brian Dawkins who was enshrined into the Hall of Fame just last Summer and how can we forget Troy Polamalu? That guy did everything and then some for his defense. We can’t forget Ed Reed either. The legendary Baltimore Raven is now the third Raven ever to be named into the Hall of Fame behind his fellow former teammates, Ray Lewis and Jonathan Ogden.

Ed Reed is one of the greatest all-around defensive players I’ve had the pleasure of watching and analyzing. He was the one guy on that Baltimore defense outside of Ray Lewis that you really had to zoom in on and pay attention too because he could do a plethora of things to make a play on the field. You had to really focus on him especially if you were a quarterback because there was no safety better at luring a quarterback into throwing the football sooner than he wanted too than Ed Reed. When he was close to the line of scrimmage or he was roaming, the quarterback had to know what he was doing because if you didn’t make that read on number 20, he’d make you pay for it. He’s the best ball-hawking safety I’ve ever watched play this game. His ability to make a play on the football was incredible to watch. From a defensive perspective, he was almost like an offensive player with how he was able to move in the open field because he was always that consistent threat to score when he recorded an interception. In ten seasons in the league, he scored 12 touchdowns. In 2004, he made history with the longest interception return with a 104-yard return for a touchdown. The record stood until 2008 when Ed himself broke his own record! I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a November game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles had moved the ball down the field on the Baltimore defense and into the red zone. Kevin Kolb threw it and there was number 20 there in the right place at the right time to pick it off and return it for 108 yards. When I think of a football player who talked the talk and walked the walk, I often think of this man right here.

He spent 11 of his first 12 seasons in the league with the Baltimore Ravens before splitting the final years of his career with the Houston Texans and New York Jets. He was a first-round pick in 2002 out of Miami (The U!) who was named to the pro bowl nine times in his legendary career. He was also an All-Pro selection five times. Ed was named the defensive player of the year in 2004 making him one of only five safeties in the history of the NFL ever to receive the award. He also added that Super Bowl ring to his resume when he helped lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl victory over the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. Numbers don’t lie. His 64 interceptions are seventh on all-time list and his seven pick-sixes are tied for 11th in league history. When you think of those Ravens defenses that were always at the top of the league, Ray may have been a big factor because he was their emotional leader, but Ed was the heartbeat of that entire Ravens defense. Ray went into the Hall of Fame last year, it’s only fitting that his buddy joins him.