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
Lardarius Webb was a cornerback for the Ravens from 2009-2017.
Ed used to always bark on doing the little things, doing the little things right. And it was something that he lived by. He always did the small things right, something about why he’s great and why he’s a great guy. But everybody used to keep on leaving their towels and their rags in the shower. He basically just stood up one day and he went off on everybody. The quote that everybody remembers is, “You’ve gotta pick up your towels! You can’t have the firemen in there picking up your towels! You can’t be having someone pick up your mess. You need to pick up all your stuff. You’ve gotta respect the firemen! Respect the firemen!”
And that’s what he kept on doing. That was kind of hilarious to hear about it — it wasn’t hilarious at the time, but when he was in and he was really passionate about it, he just kept on, “Hey man, you’ve got to respect the firemen! You’ve got to do the little things. Respect the firemen!” Because we had firemen who volunteered there, and those were the guys who folded up our towels. Those were the guys who put our clothes in the baskets and stuff. They were actual, real firemen. The coach brought ’em in and that’s who volunteered to help us — help keep the locker room clean, pass out equipment and things like that.
I was always just nervous about being around Ed because he was my favorite player growing up. It took me a little while to kind of just get used to being around him. Even though he was cool, laid back — he wasn’t going to do too much joking on me, he was just going to be Ed — I was still always a little nervous when I was around him until I grew up a little bit.
I always paid attention. I don’t care who he was talking to, I always felt like he was talking to me. That was just the type of guy he was, and I tried to model myself like that, with just being a model citizen, being a good teammate, just being a good role model, basically, for people to look up to and kind of help them want to be great someday. That’s how he did it. Kind of sat me down and showed me how to study film, how important studying film was. He went out and showed it on Sundays, how studying film is going to help you play on this field.
To read more memories of No. 20, visit PressBoxOnline.com/Reed.
Photo Credit: Sabina Moran/PressBox
Issue 255: June/July 2019