OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Much has been written over the last few days on the critical comments made by Ed Reed about quarterback Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense.
The two took the opportunity to poke fun at the situation at the beginning of Thursday’s practice, as both arrived at the indoor field at the same time. They playfully shouted at one another in front of media and cameras, mocking the perception that there’s a rift between the veteran free safety and the signal caller.
While I won’t quote the colorful dialogue — you can read between the lines for my reason why — it was a clear effort to downplay the chance of any lingering effect of the criticism as the Ravens continue preparation for the New England Patriots. Whether the interaction was a brainchild of the two players or suggested by someone else, it was a wise attempt to extinguish a few of the flames created by Reed’s critique.
“Joe has been here a long time,” Reed said in a conference call with the media on Thursday. “I’ve been here with Joe since he’s gotten here. I know Joe is a smart quarterback. He’s our quarterback regardless of anything, and that’s pretty much all there is to it. We talked a little bit, but it’s no different than the talks we’ve had over the weeks. I didn’t have to say much. He didn’t have to say much. We all know the goal.”
All parties involved have expressed a clear desire to move on, with Reed once again reiterating that his criticism was for the entire team — not just Flacco and the offense — against the Texans.
“We’re good,” Reed said. “We all are honest with each other as a team. We’re not focused on that, like I said. We’re thinking about this game. What happened last game is last week.”
For the second straight day, all players were present and working during the portion of practice open to media. Reed (left ankle) was the only player listed on Wednesday’s injury report as he participated on a limited basis.
The Ravens remained a loose group during Thursday’s practice as linebacker Terrell Suggs walked onto the field singing a Celine Dion song in front of one of the many cameras. Fullback Vonta Leach followed him on the field, pleading with Suggs to keep his helmet on to hide how ugly he was.
Tom Brady practiced on Thursday after missing Wednesday’s workout with a left shoulder injury. The future Hall of Fame quarterback is not considered to be in any danger of missing Sunday’s game and was not sacked once in the Patriots’ 45-10 win over the Denver Broncos last Saturday night.