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
Ray Lewis was a linebacker for the Ravens from 1996-2012. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018.
Ed comes in in 2002. We go and do some very, very special things, but I ask him as a Hurricane and a new teammate, “Look, brother, how far do you want to go with this thing? How great are you trying to be? How do you want to do this?” And he was like, “Man, I’m in.” I’ll never forget … I convinced him to go to Jamaica. Me, him, Rohan Marley and Monte Sanders, who was my trainer, we got on the plane. I’m telling you, we enjoyed each other every step of the way.
The training that we did over there, I looked at this young man and said, “Wow.” Because the workouts we were doing were crazy. Like, you couldn’t even attempt working out that many days. If you’re sitting by the pool and somebody just throws down a deck of cards and start doing pushups and sit-ups, you can’t even argue it. You need to jump down and get it done. And we went over there and there was this instant bond that was created because of what we went through in that trip. Of course there’s billions of stories that I have with Ed, but one story that sticks with me is that story because of what happened over there. I’m telling you, he looked at me. He was like, “Lew, you serious?” I’m like, “Look, bro, I’m so serious about this.” And what’s crazy is what we put in, that work that we put in that year.
The next year, 2003, I go win Defensive Player of the Year. 2004, he wins Defensive Player of the Year. Now, this is after we’re doing Jamaica and have the routine. Of course, we’re not quarterbacks and all this stuff, so they ain’t going to stop the game for you. But I want you to think about something. For the first time in the history of this game, Defensive Players of the Year on the same team back-to-back years. It’s never happened, and I’m sitting there saying, “That’s a product of your commitment, to saying, ‘Yes, I’m in.'” … To this day, for me, that showed me what everybody else sees watching the game and watching him play. I knew where it came from because I knew how we worked. I knew how many balls we caught. I know why we put weights on while running in the sand. Who puts on a 30-pound weight band and you’re already running in the sand? I’m telling you, that’s why I was so excited about not only having him in Baltimore, because it went further than the team — it was just having him as a brother.
My heart is warm inside now because it’s just to complete what we completed, just to finish what we finished.
To read more memories of No. 20, visit PressBoxOnline.com/Reed.
Photo Credit: Sabina Moran/PressBox
Issue 255: June/July 2019