We’ve mentioned LB Ray Lewis a few times over the past couple of days in talking about the Ravens defense, but it’s important to acknowledge another perennial All-Pro and former NFL Defensive Player of the Year who is also at the heart of Baltimore’s defense.
Ed Reed is one of the best safeties in the game and he makes a game-changing play seemingly every week. Reed holds the Ravens franchise record and is the active leader since entering the league in 2002 with 43 INTs. The 5-time Pro Bowler and 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year has taken 5 of those picks back for TDs. Last week against the Bengals, Reed picked off a Carson Palmer pass and returned it 52 yards for a score.
Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell agreed that the Lewis-Reed combination might be the best LB/S combination in the NFL.
“Ed Reed is a ball-hawk,” Bevell said. “You can see him sometimes sneaking around back there (in the secondary) like he’s hiding behind a rock or something. He thinks he’s hiding himself. He does a great job obviously of getting his hands on balls, picking them off, making big plays with them, taking them back for touchdowns.”
Bevell said that beyond Reed’s physical abilities, it’s his mental preparation that sets him apart from other players at his position.
“He understands his defense; I think he understands the teams that he’s playing as well as he understands his defense,” Bevell commented. “So he knows where he can take a chance, what type of route he might want to jump.”
Tags: Darrell Bevell
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