Reed’s mind “far away” from football with training camp looming

July 16, 2012 | Luke Jones

Hosting a youth football camp at Stevenson University this week, Ravens safety Ed Reed isn’t focused on the start of the new season.

In fact, the 33-year-old wouldn’t address any questions related to his status for training camp or his tenuous relationship with the organization, wanting to keep the focus on over 100 youth who were in attendance.

“My mind is just so far away from what’s about to happen in the fall,” said Reed, who confirmed he’s continuing to train regularly but has found a new passion for playing golf. “I’m thinking about other things. It’s about these kids right now. I’m always excited about life.”

Reed is entering the final year of his contract that will pay him $7.2 million this year and has dropped hints that he may hold out during training camp. The veteran hasn’t directly stated his desire for a new contract but has made cryptic comments at several points suggesting he has outplayed the six-year deal he signed in 2006.

The Ravens have said very little about Reed’s disenchantment, and coach John Harbaugh revealed at last month’s mandatory minicamp that the All-Pro safety hadn’t informed him of his decision to skip the three-day session. However, the organization has stated it expects Reed to report for the start of training camp next week.

General manager Ozzie Newsome has given no indication that the Ravens would engage in contract talks with Reed prior to the end of the season. Further complicating the situation is the fact that Reed is without an agent.

In what some might perceive as an olive branch of support, new defensive coordinator Dean Pees made an appearance at Reed’s camp and chatted with the star player for a few minutes on the field. The gesture was appreciated by Reed, who expressed his admiration for the defensive coach.

“All the guys on the team have so much respect for coach Pees,” Reed said. “He’s just a great man and has just a great spirit about him. If you ever talk to him, you know that he has his heart in the right place. And I know it’s so far away from professional football for him to come out here. For him to come out and support and see these kids and just be a part of it.”

Defensive tackle Bryan Hall also attended Reed’s camp, saying he didn’t know if Reed planned to report to training camp on time but pledged support for whatever decision his teammate made.

Reed has been outspoken about his displeasure through his Twitter account, drawing criticism from media and fans alike. However, he’s choosing to keep it perspective while embracing the opportunity to work with young people at his football camp.

“Not everybody is going to understand you,” Reed said. “You can’t please everybody. That’s just human nature. Everybody has their opinion, and that’s going to be there. You deal with it. You take it in stride.”

To hear Reed’s entire interview with reporters, visit the Audio Vault HERE.