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
Greg Mattison was the Ravens’ defensive coordinator from 2009-2010.
I always appreciated Ed because we would walk off the field at times together and he’d always want to talk coaching philosophy and coaching things. I always said to myself, “Ed’s going to be a coach some day. This guy is like a coach right now and he’s always trying to better himself mentally that way.” We were in a meeting one time, a whole defensive meeting. I was up going over the film, and I don’t know if it was the last game or if it was a practice or whatever. I made a strong point to the defense, especially to the defensive backs, that we have to be very careful that we don’t get too careless and get out of our depth and where we’re supposed to be in our drops. I said, “The one thing we can’t afford to do is give up big plays in the back end.” And I said, “Let’s make sure if you’re at three deep, then let’s be three deep. If you’re two deep, then let’s get two high,” and that kind of thing.
So we got done with the meeting and I’m walking out, and all of a sudden Ed yells to me. He goes, “Coach, you got a second?” And I went, “Yeah, for sure.” And I’m thinking, “Oh God, uh oh. What now? What’s this going to be?” And so I’m walking down the hall in the facility and Ed comes up to me and he goes … “So, Coach, what you’re telling me in what you were saying right there is you don’t want me to get any interceptions, right?” I went, “What are you talking about?” Ed did a phenomenal job of if it was two deep that he was playing, he would start out at the snap of the football and run almost like he was rolling to the other third, and then he would plant and run right back.
Like a week later after this conversation, he did that same thing and intercepted — I can’t remember who the quarterback was — but the quarterback came out and said, “Ed Reed did it again to me. He did it again. He sucked me right in to believing he was doing this and baited me and I threw it right to him.” So he says to me walking down the hall, “So you don’t want me to get any interceptions, is that what you’re saying?” I said, “Stop it, Ed!” And he started laughing, and he goes, “Well, Coach, I had to bust you about that because you know exactly what I do.” And I said, “I know you do.”
To read more memories of No. 20, visit PressBoxOnline.com/Reed.
Photo Credit: Sabina Moran/PressBox
Issue 255: June/July 2019