There’s no doubt that Ed Reed is a first ballot Hall of Fame safety. He’s done it all. In his 9 NFL seasons he’s made the Pro Bowl 6 times, was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2004, recorded an NFL record 107 return touchdown in 2008 and has scored 13 touchdowns in his career. The list goes on for the Ball Hawk and losing Reed to the physically unable to perform list for the first six weeks of the season was difficult for Baltimore’s already weak secondary.
This week he returned to face the Bills at M&T Bank Stadium and made the highlight reels with two interceptions and an early forced fumble (which was recovered by Buffalo) in Baltimore’s 37-34 win. But with Reed’s success comes a great degree of gambling in the secondary, for years Reed attempted big plays while risking his deep coverage often making his teammate, cornerback Samari Rolle, look bad in deep coverage.
Yesterday, a similar storyline took place in Baltimore as the Ravens allowed 374 passing yards and four touchdowns from Ryan Fitzpatrick. In his post game report card, Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston gave the Baltimore secondary an F- and had this to say about their performance:
Forget safety Ed Reed’s two interceptions. The Ravens aren’t physical enough to play man coverage. Cornerback Fabian Washington was horrendous. Cornerback Lardarius Webb was horrible. Safety Dawan Landry couldn’t take down a tackling dummy. This was the worst coverage of any group in the league this season as the Ravens allowed four touchdown passes.
My question for Mike is how much of that had to do with Ed Reed? Did Reed cost the Ravens any touchdowns attempting big plays? How much time will it take him to fully jump into the defense? What do you think?