Oct/02/12 08:47 AM Filed in: Ed Reed
OWINGS MILLS — He had interceptions in each of the Baltimore Ravens’ first two games, nine tackles in last week’s win against the New England Patriots and three pass deflections in Thursday’s victory against the Cleveland Browns.
Ravens safety Ed Reed has still been productive in recent seasons, even while battling a nerve impingement in his neck that has made him a more tentative tackler, but Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said Monday that Reed’s play through the first four games of this season is the best he’s seen from the safety in several years.
“He’s playing as well as I’ve seen him play since im’08, and he’s played really well all those years,” Harbaugh said. “He’s playing as well or better than I’ve seen him in the last couple of years.”
Harbaugh also praised Reed for his work as a leader among an otherwise young group of defensive backs.
“I just think the world of how he’s playing and how he’s leading,” Harbaugh said. “He’s been leading us in the meeting room, locker room, training room. He’s just been a great leader.”
Earlier in the day, cornerback Lardarius Webb said Reed is serving as a teacher for the other defensive backs “more than ever.”
An 11-year NFL veteran, the 34-year-old Reed has 59 career interceptions, the most among active players.
“He is into that [play]book,” Webb said. “He is making sure we know exactly what we are doing so we can go 110 percent. He is in it this year. All the other years, he would teach us a little something here and there, but this year it’s all 110 percent. He is teaching us everything that he can possibly know, and I am happy for it.”
Reed has 18 tackles and leads the Ravens in both interceptions (2) and pass deflections (7).
But it’s the job he’s done as a teacher that Webb says has been even more valuable.
“Ed is playing great on the field, but he’s better, right now, at his preparation, getting us prepared,” Webb said. “He is teaching us some things that we’ve never learned before about film watching, studying the other team. He is Hall of Fame at that right now. That’s what he is showing us — how to prepare for these guys. We just have our ears open and are trying to learn from the greatness.”