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
Matt Stover was the Ravens’ kicker from 1996-2008.
He’s the slowest walker [while] being the fastest player on the field. You can be behind him in the hallway and he’s just kind of walking, just kind of moseying on down the hallway, and here I am looking at him like, “Dude, get your move on, man, come on, let’s go.” But then you get into the game on the field. It’s, “Oh, dear goodness, he’s fast.”
I always had punters who would come up to me when Ed Reed was doubtful [as to] whether he was going to play or not. They always came up to me. “Hey, 20 suiting up today?” And I’d say, “Yep,” and you’d always see them go, “Damn, OK.” The punters would ask about No. 20.
I was on the Colts my last year, and Peyton Manning put the best defensive back with a No. 20 on his chest for scout team just to make sure. He told them to play as close to Ed Reed as they could, and then Ed would still pick him off. I was like, “Crazy.” So total respect from the best of the best, and that’s why he’s in the Hall of Fame, because everybody had to watch out for him. It was like, “Holy cow, where did he come from?”
He is the best backup kicker we had. He could kick. No joke. Flat out kick a ball, 40-plus, easy. He’s a heck of an athlete. It’s one thing to be able to run fast, but the coordination, the refined coordination that it takes to be a kicker because of all the hours and hours I spent doing it, right? It’s just awesome. He was a phenomenal kicker. He couldn’t have done it in the NFL, but yeah, he was good.
To read more memories of No. 20, visit PressBoxOnline.com/Reed.
Photo Credit: Sabina Moran/PressBox
Issue 255: June/July 2019