Teams staying away from Ed Reed

OWINGS MILLS - Ed Reed has been unusually quiet for the past eight games.

The Baltimore Ravens' All-Pro free safety intercepted Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger twice to launch the season, but hasn't picked off a pass since that game.

According to the official statistics kept by the NFL, Reed hasn't even deflected a pass in the past four games.

Is this a byproduct of quarterbacks avoiding the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year?

"I've been playing ball, being where I'm supposed to be," Reed said. "They haven't been throwing my way. That's the game plan some teams come with. Plays will come. I'm not worried about that. If me not making the play wins the game, that's fine."

A year ago, Reed led the AFC with eight interceptions.

And he has recorded 56 career interceptions, more than anyone in franchise history and more than anyone in the NFL since he entered the league nine years ago.

So, Reed believes he's earned enough props from offensive coordinators that they specifically don't design throws in his general direction.

"It's a good thing, it's a respect thing," Reed said. "It's never too boring. It happens sometimes. You have to be patient and wait for those plays."

Reed forced a fumble against the New York Jets when he sacked quarterback Mark Sanchez, a turnover that linebacker Jameel McClain returned for a touchdown.

He has 33 tackles, one sack, the two interceptions and five pass deflections for the season.

The last time Reed knocked down a pass was on Oct. 16 in a win over the Houston Texans.

"I'm not worried about a lack of numbers," Reed said. "It comes with the territory of trying to be a great player in the league. It's a respect factor. I welcome them throwing the ball to me, but it's not going to happen all the time. My presence is a big thing also."

As a defense, the Ravens haven't had nearly as many big plays lately.

During the opening seven games, they had 25 sacks and 16 turnovers with four touchdowns.

Over the past two games, the Ravens have two sacks and two turnovers with none during their 22-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

"We always emphasize it and our guys do everything they can to create turnovers," coach John Harbaugh said. "You do that through your technique and your responsibility. Sometimes, they come to you and sometimes they don't. You try to create them with hard hits. You try to create them by stripping the ball, especially in the run game but also in the pass game.

"You step in front of throws. Sometimes, they throw them to you. It's very important for us to do that. When you don't, you don't step outside the responsibility of the defense to try to create something that's not there and give up a big play. The priority in the pecking order is to get a stop first. If we can get a turnover as we do that, we definitely want to do that."

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