Courtesy of the Ravens public relations staff, executives, coaches, and former teammates react to Ed Reed’s election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame:
Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome (Former Ravens General Manager & Executive Vice President)
“Ed was a difference-maker and a game-changer. And like all great players, he elevated his teammates’ play around him.”
John Harbaugh (Ravens Head Coach)
“Ed has the hearts of everyone in Baltimore – not just because he was a great player, but also for how he served others and impacted our community. He was someone who made everyone better, whether that was on the field, in the film room or simply around town as he created opportunities for those in need.
“While he is probably the most unpredictable and dynamic defensive player in league history, I believe his best achievement is being a great dad. We are very proud of Ed and congratulate him on this incredible, well-deserved honor.”
Brian Billick (Former Ravens Head Coach)
“Ed Reed is the smartest player I’ve ever coached. His natural intuition and preparation for the game exceeds anything I’ve ever been around. He was a truly unique and impactful player in the history of the NFL. No player had better range.”
Eric DeCosta (Ravens Executive Vice President & General Manager)
“Ed was among the smartest and most remarkable, clutch playmakers in NFL history. You never felt the game was out of reach when No. 20 was on the field. I so enjoyed watching him compete and repeatedly marveled at his brilliance. Incidentally, I also admired his involvement with and impact on the youth of Baltimore.”
Hall of Fame T Jonathan Ogden
“Ed was one of the truly genuine, great teammates I’ve ever had. He was a diligent student of the game, and you always knew he was going to do everything possible to prep mentally and physically to gain an advantage. He was one of the smartest players around, and he imparted that on the entire secondary.
“Opposing quarterbacks knew Ed was going to study an offense well enough to know all the tendencies. Quarterbacks couldn’t allow themselves to fall into habits, because if they did, Ed would make them pay. He made so many people pay, not just because of his natural athletic ability, but also because he was already in the quarterback’s head. He’d know where you’d want to throw the ball, and then he’d go pick it. Quarterbacks had to not only be aware of where Ed lined up, but also where he could end up after the play began.”
Hall of Fame LB Ray Lewis
“Ed is one of the best teammates I’ve ever had, and he is my brother for life. His talents, work ethic and leadership are unmatched, and it was such a pleasure to play with this great man for so many years. Nothing will ever be like ‘Sugar’ and ‘Quick.’ To win back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards in 2003 and 2004 – and now to be back-to-back Hall of Famers – well, it is amazing. Congrats, my brother. I am so proud to welcome you in to our ‘new’ team.”
Rex Ryan (Former Ravens Defensive Coordinator & Jets/Bills Head Coach)
“The first thing I think of with Ed is that he’s a Raven. He’s all that goes into playing like a Raven. When you play like Ed Reed, that’s what you want [a player] to be. He was a football junkie and passionate guy. And oh, by the way, he’s the most instinctive and probably best free safety in the history of the game. He was a playmaker, but he was also a hitter – and that’s what people don’t always realize.
“With Ed, when you say ‘instinctive,’ some might think he was just out there flying by the seat of his pants. But, that’s not the case. Ed studied as much as anybody I’ve ever been around. His instincts were amazing, and he was able to react because of the film study. That’s probably the most underrated thing about Ed – his amazing preparation.
“We were blessed to have two first-ballot Hall of Famers in Ray [Lewis] and Ed, and now we’ve got Terrell Suggs coming right down the road. There’s a reason why so many Baltimore assistants got head jobs; it’s because these guys are great players.”
Mike Nolan (Former Ravens Defensive Coordinator & 49ers Head Coach)
“I coached Ray Lewis and Lawrence Taylor, and Ed could disrupt a game as much as those two. It was his range – simply amazing. No deep ball was out of his reach, and he disguised his coverages better than anyone ever. He was so smart and took away quarterbacks’ first reads all the time. He had them confused. My good fortune is that I coached two players who prepared better than all others: Ed Reed and Ray Lewis. That was a huge part of their secret sauces. Those two would get together on Tuesday and give me suggestions for the gameplans. They were regularly spot-on – and more.”
Chuck Pagano (Former Ravens Defensive Coordinator & Colts Head Coach)
“I’m so happy for Ed. He’s one of the all-time greats at his position and is very deserving of this prestigious honor. He is by far one of the best playmakers that I’ve ever coached in my 33 years at the college and NFL levels. Ed had it all: speed, athleticism, toughness and a nose for the football. But what set him apart were his instincts, range and his drive to be the best. No one was ever going to outwork Ed, and that showed on the field. More importantly, Ed played the game the right way and was a tremendous teammate on and off the field. When you think about the all-time great safeties in this league, Ed Reed belongs in the discussion. No question.”