Defensive player to watch: S Ed Reed

How he beats you: One of the best safeties in the game, Reed remains an impact player despite playing in his 11th season at the age of 34. The 5-foot-11, 205-pounder has great athleticism to go along with impressive instincts, ball-hawking skills and play-making ability. He has 61 career interceptions and leads Baltimore with four this season.

“Some guys, I think, are born to be football players. I think Ed is that type of guy,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. “… He is a guy who I think is in the film room every day. He knows what is going to happen before it happens. Usually the great players are not only great athletes but great students of the game. And he is a guy that I think is very well prepared and he knows what is going to happen before it happens, which is why he has so many picks.”

How to stop him: Because Reed has seen virtually every passing formation, it will be hard to fool him, but offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will likely draw up pass routes to take Reed away from the ball. Robert Griffin III must continue his precision passing and sharp recognition of what the defense is doing, and can’t let Reed fool him.

“I’m going to be aware of where he’s at. Like I said, it’s nothing to fear. But he covers a lot of ground. He does a lot of unconventional things. You’ve just got to be aware of where he’s at just like he’s got to be aware of where I am and [running back] Alfred [Morris] and everyone else.”

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