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 Radio
Mark Clayton was a receiver for the Ravens from 2005-2009.
Playing on offense, everybody has to do their role and you have to be in position every time or the play does not work. … There was a play in Miami, it was [the wild-card playoff game in January 2009]. I want to say it was third and about six, third and medium. It was like a three by one formation, and we were in cover-two and Ed was a safety opposite. He was on the other side. He wasn’t the safety on the three-receiver side. He was the safety on the single-receiver side. Snapped the ball, down set hut. Ed leaves that safety spot, cover-two, and just takes off, beeline over to the three-receiver side down in that 6- to 7-yard range, and sure enough, got a pick.
He had an interception, and I’m like, “Oh my God, he literally said trick it, I’m going.” And not only did he just go, he got an interception. If the quarterback just happens to look up — it was Chad Pennington — if he just happens to look up over where Ed was, there’s a receiver by himself. But it didn’t matter.
And later, I asked him about it and [Reed] was like, “It was in my film study: down and distance, ball on this hash, this is the play they’re going to run, and I knew it.” Period. Went and got it. That instinct was amazing. In addition to all the crazy plays that he’s made, his instincts were just above the rest, hands down, period. And he had the balls to go do it. He just did stuff. He was my favorite player, man. He played free. To play free and not fear messing up, I can’t explain that feeling. It’s amazing, too. You’ve got to be good at what you do and what you love to do and not be afraid of messing up. It’s a beautiful feeling.
To read more memories of No. 20, visit PressBoxOnline.com/Reed.
Photo Credit: Sabina Moran/PressBox
Issue 255: June/July 2019