As Ed Reed prepares to take his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, teammates, friends and coaches from his Ravens, college and high school years reflect on the legacy of the legendary Ravens safety with their favorite memories and never-before-heard stories.
As told to Glenn Clark
Brian Billick was the head coach of the Ravens from 1999-2007.
Everybody has their routine, but you never worried about Ed and his preparation regardless of whatever his demeanor was or when he came into the building. I feel like Ray Lewis, even though Ray didn’t always work out in the facility, I never worried about Ray Lewis working out. You knew he was going to be a demon about that. So you have to adjust to that, but Ed was very much one of including the players and particularly young players.
Young players will come in and look at film and they have no idea what they’re looking at. They’re just looking at film, and they’re really wasting a lot of time because you’ve got to have a really detailed, focused eye as to, OK, what am I getting out of looking at this film? Ed was very much one to get other players and rookies to say, “Well, let’s look together. Let me show you what it is you need to be seeing that’s going to give you that tell or that tip to do your job.”
You do a lot of different things, some of them not the smartest or classiest in the world. Ed was very rare to make a mistake, but when he did, we had to memorialize it so to speak and started a little mini-award. I won’t go into it further than that, other than just to say that, yeah, it was such a special and rare occasion when Ed would make a mistake.
I don’t want to say he guessed, because he was too well prepared to guess, but there were times when Ed took chances, and the players had to adapt to Ed. Ed was maybe supposed to be in the middle of the field, but he decided he was going to come down into the box. Well, whoever’s playing with him is going, “Oh, OK. Well, if I was supposed to be doing that and Ed’s doing this, so I’ll go back to the middle of the field.” Kind of like [Troy] Polamalu in Pittsburgh, you had to have a lot of good teammates to cover you when you started to do these unique things. And, nine times out of 10, Ed was in the right place at the right time.
To read more memories of No. 20, visit PressBoxOnline.com/Reed.
Photo Credit: Sabina Moran/PressBox
Issue 255: June/July 2019