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. 

Jarret Johnson
As told to Glenn Clark

Jarret Johnson was a linebacker for the Ravens from 2003-2011.

He was such an interesting guy to play with because he was such a dynamic player and such a big name, but he was always one of the guys, he was always humble. … One of my favorite plays that he did was a negative, but it kind of showed his mentality. We were playing in Miami — we weren’t very good and Miami wasn’t very good, it went into overtime. We had like a max trot, three man rush. It was a form of cover two and I was like a low-middle player between the corner and the middle linebacker, and I was just kind of dropping into my space, playing my reads, and I got hit in the back and it kind of caught me off guard because I’m in coverage, why would I get hit in the back? I turned around and it was Ed, and he had seen something. He sees, and he jumped a route and he just knew where the ball was gonna go, and the ball didn’t go there and it went over our head for like a 70-yard touchdown and we lost in overtime. I was like, “What the heck are you doing?” and he was just like, “Oh, my bad, dog.”

It just didn’t faze him because he was gonna come back the next week and do that same exact thing and have a pick-six or a highlight hit or whatever. I just always respected [the] confidence he had in his instincts. He never deviated. I know in a lot of ways he drove coaches crazy because he wasn’t always gonna do what you wanted him to do. Even though he was really, really good in coverage and understood coverage and where he needed to be, he would break coverage in two seconds to rely on his instinct and he had such range that he could do it, and he had like 65 career picks or something like that. Unbelievable! Just unbelievably high-impact player that could change the game at the drop of a hat.  

To read more memories of No. 20, visit

Photo Credit: Sabina Moran/PressBox 

Issue 255: June/July 2019


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