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
Dean Pees was the Ravens’ defensive coordinator from 2012-2017 and the New England Patriots’ defensive coordinator from 2006-2009.
One of the things that I enjoyed the most was our Wednesday morning meetings. I would meet with four or five of those guys in my office, talk to them about the game plan coming up. I can vividly remember in the 2012 season when we went to play Denver out there in Denver, I kind of went through the game plan with them. I could usually read Ed’s body language pretty good and how he’d look at me. We had really a great rapport. I could tell something was up, and I said, “OK, what don’t you like about this?” He just kind of looked at me and said, “Coach, we’ll disguise and we can play these coverages and everything that you want to play, just try to disguise it and we can take care of it and you don’t have to do all this other stuff.” And, hey, I will at least give myself enough credit as a coach to listen to great players that know what they’re talking about. So I said, “Hey, that’s what we’ll do.” And obviously that’s what we did, and you know the results.
I know everybody looks at that game and looks back and kind of thinks of the long pass that Joe [Flacco] threw to [Jacoby Jones], and that was the game. But we actually held them to 21 points. Two of their touchdowns came on special teams. We actually held them very well on defense. That was really one of our best defensive games of the year against Peyton [Manning]. People kind of don’t see that because you see the score — 30-some points — but two of them were special teams scores. We really, really played well on defense, and we did not do a lot. We probably did less than maybe I’ve ever done on defense — just played basic defense. That’s what Ray [Lewis] and Ed sat there and talked to me about.
[With the Patriots], I can remember the very first scouting report. Bill [Belichick] stands up there and says, “OK, these three guys. You better block No. 52, and you better know where 20 is at all times, and you don’t want to let [Terrell] Suggs ruin the game.” I can remember that quote. That was what he told the offense: Block 52, know where 20 is at all times and don’t let 55 ruin the game. I used to tell that to those guys after I went to Baltimore. “Here’s what they’re saying about you over there.” And that was really the truth. If you block 52 and know where 20 is and don’t let 55 ruin the game on pass rush, you’ve got a chance.
To read more memories of No. 20, visit PressBoxOnline.com/Reed.
Photo Credit: Sabina Moran/PressBox
Issue 255: June/July 2019