The Ravens will stare down a gauntlet of elite quarterbacks in 2012. With just a few exceptions, every opposing signal-caller on their schedule has either made the Pro Bowl or won a Super Bowl.
Theyll play both Mannings, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, all of whom have won Super Bowls (eight combined); Philip Rivers, who tore them apart last year; Michael Vick, one of the games singular talents; Tony Romo, who piles up stats for the Cowboys; and Matt Schaub, Andy Dalton and Matt Cassel, who have Pro Bowl appearances.
But when asked if he would approach the season any differently because of the caliber of the opposition, Ravens safety Ed Reed just laughed.
Bring them on, man. Im sure they are going to game-plan like they always do write (Reed's name) on their wristband and know Im there and all that. I welcome them. I look forward to them, Reed said.
He continued: Its a lot of respect for those guys. I never train any different or prepare any different for either game. Its always who I am going against and what we need to prepare for as a team. So, whether its Brady, Eli, those guys know who we are, and they are going to run their game plan the way they want to run their game plan. All we have to do is be ready.
Reed said he expects the secondary to be improved in 2012 with Bernard Pollard alongside him and Lardarius Webb, Jimmy Smith and Cary Williams playing the corners.
We have gotten a lot better, a lot older. Guys are maturing now, Reed said. Lardarius is a more mature guy who understands football a lot more. Bernard is having another year under his belt with us Jimmy Smith, too. We are going to be much better than we were last year. Guys know what to expect now."