Latest Ed Reed tribute
By: Jake Rajala
The Baltimore Ravens were gifted an assassin-like safety in Ed Reed with their 24th pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. It would be an understatement to say that Reed hit the ground running – as he notched 5 ints in his rookie campaign. Reed certainly climbed the ladder in his sophomore season by garnering seven ints and three more pass deflections than his rookie campaign (which led him to make his first Pro Bowl). Well, the safety with incredible range and fury had a mythical 2004 campaign – which featured him getting first-team All-Pro honors and winning DPOY (and he was the third safety to ever win the award)!
Reed transcended into an annual All-Pro safety after his 2004 campaign, as he made the All-Pro team in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010. It should be noted that his presence was crucial in the Ravens journey to winning the Super Bowl in the 2012-2013 season. He had four ints and made the Pro Bowl in 2012. Reed’s last hoorah came in 2013 (where he played with the Texans for seven games and the Jets for seven contests).
Reed holds two vital records: most interception return yardage and post-season ints. He also holds the record for the longest interception return for a touchdown (108 yds). The former Ravens legendary safety also made the 2000s all-decade team. Let’s not forget that Reed also won the Ed Block Courage award in 2008. His grand journey would end with him (and his buddy Ray Lewis) securing a gold jacket and delivering an epic speech to his audience in Canton, Ohio.
It’s clear that Reed is the best Ravens safety of all time. So, the ultimate question is: Is the “Speedo Killer” the best safety of all time? I (and Lebron James) believe he is the best S ever to play the game. His play-making ability was unparallel (just ask Bill Belichick and Tom Brady) and he was paramount in his team’s path to garnering a Super Bowl ring.