Ed Reed

I’ve been taken to task for my opinion of Ed Reed — just listen to last week’s Section 336 podcast. In his prime, the healthy Ed Reed was one of the best to play the position. He read quarterbacks better than anyone in the league and changed the momentum of games with his interceptions (and laterals).

He’s a Hall of Famer. I get that.

But off the field Reed consistently made stupid comments that were detrimental to his team. Many reporters would tell you that he had a poor relationship with Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, that Reed was responsible for the locker room “mutiny” in 2012 that nearly caused the team to collapse. He’s thrown teammates, coaches and organizations under the bus. He’s blabbed about undisclosed injuries in radio interviews (with one of his foundation’s employees).

That’s just Ed being Ed. 

Maybe. If that’s the excuse you want to make then fine. But that’s the reason I think he’d make a terrible coach.

Somehow, in spite of all of these facts, Ravens fans worship the ground Reed walks on and many want him to return to the organization and throw on a headset. Here’s what BaltimoreRavens.com’s Garrett Downing wrote on Wednesday:

The 12-year veteran was a respected voice of leadership throughout his time with the Ravens, and had a reputation as a film nut. He was also known for mentoring younger players, and General Manager Ozzie Newsome said previously that he could see a place in the organization for Reed in coaching or player development.

I don’t doubt Reed’s dedication to studying the game, but I can’t agree with his leadership qualities. Good leaders stick up for their teammates, they don’t call them out in public. Good leaders bring their teams together during difficult stretches, they don’t question the coaching staff. Good leaders don’t make excuses when they underperform or fail, they accept responsibility and promise to improve.

Reed has never shown any of these qualities.

If he ever coaches in Baltimore (I personally don’t see it happening), I can promise you it won’t be on John Harbaugh’s coaching staff. Despite what GM Ozzie Newsome says about Reed, Harbaugh would never allow that locker room presence on his team.