Before Kickoff, Score Is Gronkowski 1-Reed 0

January 18, 2012 | Glenn Clark

I took those transcriptions straight from a column written by Adam Schein. I did that because Schein was one of the interviewers (along with Rich Gannon) during Reed’s appearance.

I had initially stated Tuesday via Twitter (@WNST) that Reed’s comments could have been taken out of context when they were brought to my attention. In terms of how they were used by Schein, they are taken so far out of context that there is no flight available to cover the distance.

Schein attempted to spin Reed’s words to suggest the All-Pro safety believed the Ravens needed to explore another option at quarterback in the offseason. Reed did not come anywhere close to this during the portion of the interview available for consumption, nor did he ever suggest anything that could be construed as a lack of trust in Flacco as the Ravens head to Foxborough.

It’s a shame the entire interview isn’t available-but after seeing the ridiculous way that Schein used Reed’s comments I was happy to step in and offer perspective.

Some of Ed Reed’s comments-when read individually-come off in a derogatory tone towards his quarterback. “He needed to get rid of the ball” and “he can’t play like that” when standing alone sound particularly inflammatory. Of course Reed’s comments were more about a big picture of what happened in the team’s win Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

The truth is that the entire team was stymied by certain things the Houston Texans were able to do courtesy of having the National Football League’s 2nd best defense. Reed actually stated that during the course of the interview, but “we all gotta step it up” isn’t quite as eye-popping of a headline. It’s the same thing every athlete says after every game-whether it’s a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars or a blowout win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The truth is that the Ravens don’t HAVE to play “better.” They have to beat the New England Patriots. If they could win the game 4-3, they’d go to the Super Bowl despite the fact that they wouldn’t have played any better in the eyes of many.

It’s just something athletes say because we want them to say it. We want to believe that athletes all want to get better.

Reed danced with the truth in his comments Monday. Flacco was rattled by an outstanding Texans front seven. Of course, not “getting rid of the ball” in certain circumstances may have had a lot to do with why the Ravens never turned the ball over, a significant part of why they were able to win the game and advance.

Reed attempted to tell the truth, but as is the case in every interview-the transcriptions told a story that didn’t necessarily match what was said.

The bigger issue is that Reed probably should have done what Art Jones did when I tried to get him to give away part of the team’s gameplan Tuesday. He probably should have avoided the question. Simply saying “Joe lead us to a win Sunday” would have effectively answered the question without allowing anyone to misconstrue what was said.

Of course, I’d imagine someone would have attempted to anyway.

Reed could have done what Ravens LB Terrell Suggs did in a taped interview with ESPN Tuesday, part of which can be seen at this link. He could have channeled his inner Jimmy Smith and delivered a filibuster worthy of “Mr. Suggs Goes to Bristol” consideration.

Come to think of it, he could have done what Gronkowski did.

“Happy to do it in the future, but I’m only going to do the Patriots’ stuff this week.”

No one is dissecting any comments Rob Gronkowski made about the Patriots’ defense this week. No one is wondering if Gronkowski trusts that the NFL’s 31st ranked statistical defense can hold up their end of the bargain with a trip to Indy on the line in less than a week.

I don’t want to see Reed (or Suggs…or Gronkowski…or Art Jones) stop doing media. I say that selfishly, as I hope Suggs will go off during his next appearance on WNST instead of his next appearance on NFL Network.

But I know this much. Some 100 hours away from kickoff, Gronkowski has taken the lead in a matchup that should be tougher on the field than off.

He might not even know it.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…