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
Bryant McKinnie was an tackle at the University of Miami from 1999-2001 and for the Ravens from 2011-2013.
When we were in college, I didn’t want to go out one night with [Reed and other teammates]. I didn’t feel like it and I stayed in. They went out and they hung out, and they decided to go into the Hecht, which is an athletic building, and they stole one of the national championship trophies out of the Hecht. Then they decided to come to my house — my roommate at the time was Jeremy Shockey. Shockey left a, I don’t know why, but a back window in the house open and it just so happened my wallet and keys were there. So they grab the key, open the door and they come in. They bring the trophy into the living room, and they go in the room and I guess they wake up Shockey. And then Shockey says, “Well, I bet you won’t go in there and wake up Bryant!” So they came and woke me up. I thought somebody broke into the house. I heard my door open up — I’m not a heavy sleeper, but my room was pitch dark — and I see the door open up and I see somebody coming in the room. And they ran, like to jump on me, but they didn’t know my eyes were open. Ed runs and tries to jump on me while I was laying down, and I kicked him and he fell. And I tried to grab something by my nightstand and hit him, and he said, “No, no, wait! It’s Ed!” I turned my light on and I was so pissed. I thought I was being attacked! … I recognized the voices and the lights came on and I see it was them, and Ed is on the ground laughing. That moment — when that happened — that was a bonding period for us.
Another thing that’s funny that kind of happened — going into our senior year as well — we went out with some guys who were like a year older than us, two years older than us to a night club one time. One of the guys got into it with the boxer Shannon Briggs, and me and Ed Reed ended up helping. So the guy who got beat up, he went to the hospital, but we weren’t there when it happened. He was with us, but he walked off to another part or whatever. So I’m looking like, what’s going on? Because you see other guys, they’re looking for somebody, the body language — I’m like, something happened. And they were like, “Just come on, just come on.” And you’ve got to remember, we were the young guys. Some of the guys, they had just left or had been in the league for a year already. We’re the young guys who are in school still, hanging out with them. We’re going out the back door. I’m like, “Why are we going out the back door?” And Ed is like, “Just come on, just come on.” So we go, and Ed’s standing out there with no shirt on like, “Come on.” I’m like, “What is going on?” And he’s like, “He beat up [our friend] and he sent him to the hospital.” I’m like, when did this happen? Didn’t even see the fight.
What was crazy was when we went out the back door the police were like, “Oh, you’re looking for the guy that beat up y’all friend?” He says that to us! And he’s like, “He went back there.” He opened the door. So we’re standing out there and I’m like, “Well, who is this guy?” He was a big guy and he had a smaller guy with him, so I’m like, “Well, what is going on? Oh, that’s him.” And everybody is just standing there, and he’s yelling and going off. And I’m like, “Well, OK!” So I approach [Briggs] and the smaller guy who was with him. I don’t know if he spars, too, but he was like doing little boxing moves. He stood in front of him and he started doing all that. So Ed gets behind him somehow, because I’m basically like a distraction now. I’m standing in front of them. They’re both focused on me. I was like, “Somebody get the little guy.” Ed comes in, hits the little guy and the guy flies out of the way. Me and Shannon are both looking at them. I turned back, I looked at Shannon and just rushed him and got him on the ground. We beat him up.
That goes back to when we were in the playoffs, [to] me saying, “Somebody get the little guy.” Ed comes up to me during the playoff run while we’re going to the Super Bowl; Ed comes up to me before the game talking about, “I’m gonna get the little guy, you get the big guy!” That was funny, because I don’t know what made him think of that. We were in the playoffs. I think we were playing the Indianapolis Colts because we were at home. But it was the playoffs and he was like, “All right, I’m going to get the little guys, you get the big guys!”
To read more memories of No. 20, visit PressBoxOnline.com/Reed.
Photo Credit: Sabina Moran/PressBox
Issue 255: June/July 2019