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Ed Reed's retirement press conference full of poignant moments


Ed Reed's retirement press conference full of poignant moments

OWINGS MILLS -- Ravens president Dick Cass said that Ed Reed would be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor on Nov. 22, when they host the Rams. Here are some of the most poignant comments from Reed’s retirement press conference on Thursday.

From general manager Ozzie Newsome – “Whenever we knew it was time for a play to be made, we would all say, ‘It’s Ed Reed’s time.”’

From Cass – “We all know Ed was a great football player, but I think what some may not appreciate is what a great community leader he was in Baltimore.”

Coach John Harbaugh said he would never forget Reed taking the coach’s front seat on the bus after winning Super Bowl XLVII. “On the bus ride from the Superdome back to the hotel after the game, after all the celebration, Ed took my seat,” Harbaugh said.  He said, “Coach I got the seat tonight. ‘I said, you earned it.’ So I sat across from him.”

Reed often gambled on defense, but he and former teammate Ray Lewis studied film for countless hours, allowing them to rarely be out of position.

“If you don’t put that study in, you’re really going in unprepared,” Reed said.  “Coaches are going to give you everything that they see from their perspective. You got to get it from your perspective and put those two things together.

I can remember studying and staying by Ray’s house. The countless hours of working out. To this day, we still talk. Ray made my job easy. Playing with him was like no other. I’m honored to say that I played with him.”

Reed, who made the Pro Bowl nine times at safety, shared his thoughts about the possibility of making the Hall of Fame.

“One day,” Reed said. “One day I guess I’ll be there. When I go, everybody who was my teammates, who helped me to make those plays, my mentors, they go with me.”

I asked Reed which quarterbacks he found toughest to face.

“Philip Rivers was always tough to go against,” Reed said. “Tom Brady, he’s always a tough one, him and Peyton (Manning). Every quarterback in Cleveland I loved,” Reed said smiling. “Cincinnati, too. Pittsburgh was always tough to play against Ben Roethlisberger up there. He was not always in the pocket. You had to be a little bit more disciplined.”

Reed still looked fit enough to play, but said he knew it was time to retire. He signed a one-day contract Thursday so that he could officially retire as a Raven. 

MORE RAVENS: Ravens post-draft two-deep: Offense

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Ravens reportedly agree to a deal keeping John Harbaugh in Baltimore long term

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Ravens reportedly agree to a deal keeping John Harbaugh in Baltimore long term

The Ravens have reportedly agreed in principle to a new contract extension with head coach John Harbaugh, a move already being praised by national pundits everywhere. 

It was nearly a month ago that the Ravens announced Harbaugh would be returning as the team’s head coach in 2019, which was noteworthy considering his status as a potential lame duck head coach.

In the same release, the team announced they were working towards a contract extension with Harbaugh, whose current deal was set to expire next year.

Despite reports from national NFL insiders, including Jason La Canfora and Peter King, that Harbaugh might prefer to hit free agency as a highly sought-after head coach after the 2019 season, it appears the Ravens will keep him in Baltimore for the foreseeable future. 

This news comes on the heels of a busier-than-usual coaching carousel, with a quarter of the 32 NFL teams changing head coaches in the last month, including two AFC North rivals. Harbaugh almost certainly would have been the cream of the crop among coaching free agents no matter when he became available, so the Ravens were looking to lock him up long term.

After a tough November home loss to the Steelers that put the team at 4-5, Harbaugh was asked about his job security, and he remained steadfast and confident.

"I've never been someone who's worried about keeping a job," Harbaugh said. "It's always been, for me, [about] doing the job. I've got a bunch of great coaches and a bunch of great players that bust their tails every day to do the best job they can. I feel really good about the way this team has been coached for the last 11 years, and for the last number of weeks we've been in the season. So, there are no regrets. Never been any regrets here with me."

After that game, the Ravens rattled off six wins in seven games to make the playoffs, and many players credited Harbaugh with keeping the team together. It was prior to Week 16 when the front office announced Harbaugh would be returning no matter how the season ended, but the strong finish and AFC North title certainly made the decision easier.

A coach with a special teams background, Harbaugh is an anomaly in the current era of young, offensive-minded head coaches. He won Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, and holds a 104-72 career record in Baltimore.

The terms of the new deal have not yet been released, but it will be interesting how many years the team is committing to Harbaugh.


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Youth movement leads Ravens’ list of MVPs of 2018 season

Youth movement leads Ravens’ list of MVPs of 2018 season

The Baltimore Ravens' 2018-19 season certainly wasn't boring.

A change at starting quarterback while displaying the NFL's No. 1 defense for just the second time in team history en route to a playoff run highlighted their campaign. 

With rookies on the rise and veterans still at the top of their game, who on the Ravens' roster had MVP performances in 2018?

Offensive MVP: QB Lamar Jackson

Coming in for an injured Joe Flacco in Week 11, Jackson pulled the Ravens out of a four-game losing streak and led the team to a 6-1 record down the stretch. His 695 rushing yards is the most by all NFL quarterbacks in 2018 and also ranks 11th most by a quarterback in NFL single-season-history. 

The Ravens' leader for the foreseeable future, Jackson landed the team in their first postseason appearance in three seasons and rekindled fandom in the city of Baltimore. 

Defensive MVP: CB Marlon Humphrey

Humphrey followed up his strong rookie season with an even stronger sophomore season. Nursing a groin injury for part of it, Humphrey led the team with 15 passes defended, 37 total tackles, two interceptions and one forced fumble. 

Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 15, the cornerback produced a career-high four passes defended and one interception in the 20-12 win. Through 14 games, Humphrey proved he can matchup with some of the best receivers in the league while slowly emerging as a leader of the defense.

Special Teams MVP: Justin Tucker

He's the most reliable guy in Baltimore, finishing the 2018 season with a franchise-record 141 points for the third-consecutive season.

Named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month in September and November, Tucker was snubbed from a Pro Bowl appearance after making 36 of 39 field goal attempts. 

Unsung Hero: RB Gus Edwards

Beep, beep. Make way for Gus 'the bus'' Edwards. 

Alongside Jackson, the undrafted rookie out of Rutgers emerged in their Week 11 matchup against the Bengals rushing for 115 yards on 17 carries and his first-career touchdown. Through seven weeks, Edwards helped take the Ravens' 27th ranked run game to No. 2 in the league. An introvert in the locker room but an extrovert on the field, Edwards became the Ravens' second rookie in franchise history to post back-to-back 100-yard rushing games in Week 11 and Week 12.

With Greg Roman being promoted to offensive coordinator, expect to see Gus 'the bus' pounding the field in 2019.