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 Stan “The Fan” Charles
Scott Garceau was a longtime sports anchor at WMAR-TV and now hosts The Scott Garceau Show on 105.7 The Fan. Garceau presented Ed Reed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee after doing the same for Ray Lewis in 2018.
The guys that I knew, a couple weeks leading up to the vote said, “Oh, are you just going to stand up there and say, ‘Ed Reed, he’s in, he’s in?'” No, no. They give us five minutes and a lot of the presentations will run six, so you’ve got about a minute to play with, and I probably did about two minutes. You don’t know the batting order, who’s going to present. What you do is present by position, and then it’s alphabetical within the position. So about 10 days before the meeting, I get the mailer that has the batting order, and guess what? Defensive backs are the last thing, and Ed Reed is the last of the defensive backs. So I’m thinking, “There’s going to be 18 presentations, and I’m No. 18.”
So at that point I said, “You know what? Boil it down. Get it down to two strong minutes and don’t waste their time. … But when we got down there, I stood up and said, “First of all, I’d like to thank everybody for awarding me the Mariano Rivera award this year, because I am the closer.” And I did about two minutes with Ed. You hope he’s in. Everybody said he’s in, he’s in, and turned out that he was. He got the knock on the door that afternoon.
John Turney is a historian … and I talked to him. I’ll usually check in with him on a candidate if I’ve got some questions, and he had written a story about Ed. He broke it down to the interception rate: the interception rate in today’s game — passes attempted versus passes intercepted — versus back in the ’60s and ’70s when Paul Krause, the all-time interception leader, played. And the numbers were something like if Paul Krause was playing today, instead of  interceptions he would have 53, and if Ed Reed was playing in Paul Krause’s era, instead of the 64 interceptions that Ed had, he’d have 104. I was kind of flabbergasted.
There were two numbers I came across. That was one of them, and I included that in my presentation. The other one: Ed Reed is tied for the all-time record with nine postseason interceptions. So now you’re playing against the best teams in the biggest games, and Ed Reed stood out again: nine career postseason interceptions. So I looked. Ed’s seventh all-time on the interception list, right? I looked at those six above him. Those six above him combined had eight interceptions in 44 more [postseason] games than Ed Reed played. So take the six in front of Ed Reed, add up all their postseason interceptions, it comes to eight. Ed Reed had nine in  fewer games. So it speaks to the greatness of Ed Reed. Big game, big plays, that was him.
To read more memories of No. 20, visit PressBoxOnline.com/Reed.
Photo Credit: Sabina Moran/PressBox
Issue 255: June/July 2019