Well as we all know, the guy is kind of a big deal, but that's no secret. Norris and Dave from 105.7 The Fan conducted a hot-topic interview with Mr. Reed this past week in which they covered many different topics, some pretty interesting stuff but it seemed (prior to King James making my favorite decision of his career) every sports source known to man was making a huge fuss about Ed Reed becoming the most recent NFL star asking for a new contract. With this breaking news the criticism from all angles came rolling in against Mr. Reed and while we all had our own personal views, there was definitely some hate and confusion floating around the web and sport sources.
I'm not sure if you guys got to read the transcripts from the interview, The Baltimore Sun made them available in 3 parts, theyre included below in their proper order if you wanted to read over it. You can see what Ed had to say about contract talk and decide what you think he is saying. I definitely enjoyed the material, its not very often that we get much out of Ed so it was nice to hear him just being himself and having a little fun, after the transcript I'll have a few of my opinions and I was just wondering if anyone agreed.
Question: Ed. We’ll talk some football coming up but I think the very first question everyone wants to know is, how is your hip coming back from the surgery?
Reed: It’s doing OK. You know I’m rehabbing it pretty much every day after my week off last week, but you know it’s going pretty good. I still have some soreness in there. It’s just a slow process, but from what the doctors told me and just from what I’ve experienced over the past couple days, just trying to do different things, I know it’s going to be a slow process. And personally, you know, where I’m at in my career, I’m not gonna rush it back because it just takes time. I don’t wanna rush it back, come back and play two or three games and then I’m out again ... and then can’t play no more this season. So I just wanna take it and be smart with it. We are shooting for the first game of the season though. We’re not trying to miss a game, but if it happens that way to where we’re back two or three games then so be it, but we’re not gonna rush it at all.
Everyone is glad to hear that because the last thing you want is exactly what you were talking about. You know coming back being hurt and being out for the rest of the season. Something like that at this stage of your life you just gotta, I mean everyone likes seeing you in the purple uniform but frankly as a man and a human being you gotta protect your health and we all understand that. I was reading some stuff saying you’re about 30-35% right now. You’re walking around, playing with your kids, stuff like that [and] you’re shooting for the first game. Is that realistic you think?
Reed: You know, I’m not sure. It’s probably realistic but even they don’t know how I feel at the end of the day. How you feeling inside? Are you confident with it? Those types of things. So I wanna be able to. I have to be able to look at what I’ve done over the past couple of years in the summer time prior to even going to training camp before I’m able to even go out there and start the practice. It’s going to be interesting because we’re going to be in training camp ... [and] I never really fully worked out in Baltimore in the offseason to get myself ready, so that’s a conversation to have with my coaches. So it’s just gonna be a process, man, and that’s what it is right now. I’m feeling good, though. I’m moving around, I have some quickness there, so if we had to play the Super Bowl or something right now, one game you know, I think I could go out there and smart it up a little bit. Use the mind a little bit more than the body, just to give our team something. But you want to be at full throttle to go 108, 109 if you have to, so those are the things you think about. You want to be able to perform at least at a higher level then you’ve been performing at.
Let me ask you a question. We were talking a little bit about some of the things you said last week. About where you are, and I just mentioned 35%. You’re basically walking right now. You’re not to the point where you can go out and train or anything like that and we had an orthopedic surgeon call in who read the quotes from a prior interview you gave about the six-seven inches or the IT band that had to be replaced in reconstructive surgery. And he said, ‘Geez, that’s a major injury he’s a tough guy, a really tough guy. If he can come back at all this year, I would tend to think maybe halfway through the season would be a target date.’ Are you positioned to thinking at all Ed that it might just be something where you’re not going to be able to come back until November?
Reed: Yeah, it could be that. It could honestly be that situation. Plus I still have another injury that was actually the number one injury prior to, and probably partly why I had to have the hip surgery, was my nerve impingement. That’s the thing we’ve been talking about for the past couple years …
Your neck ... your neck.
Reed: ... That’s why I haven’t been practicing in training camp and full contact. Coaches are holding me out with the red jersey on. I believe with the hip, that could be a realistic thing; November, October, November, December, we don’t know. Like I said, it’s going to be dependent on how I feel and what I have done to get myself back into full-throttle, game shape, no problem. And I’m confident with what I’ve done over the last offseason. If I get back to that point, then we’re talking. There’s a reason why that guy is doing his profession -- knowing what it takes to come back. It is a tough injury, man. I have some pain. The pain I have with that surgery, those first couple of days with it were grueling and they make you think about some things. They truly make you think about some things and from an organizational standpoint I’m very excited and I’m very grateful for what the Ravens have, for the opportunity they have given me. I really believe that they sit back upstairs and [are] like, ‘You know the opportunity we gave Ed, he took advantage of it. He really did take advantage of it from a business perspective.’ You know I called the Ravens last year, I let them know. I said, ‘Look, I have a nerve impingement, I’m feeling something could possibly happen to me, but I wanna know.’ Just like those older players back in the day wanna know where is our insurance. You know, where is the insurance? It’s not a selfish thing. It’s a business thing. This is a business that we’re in. [The NFL owners are] showing their true colors right now. They’re showing their true colors with a possible lockout. When you sit back, you’re like these players are selfish. But these players ain’t selfish. These players go through some stuff.
Yeah, the average NFL [career lasts until] ... like 27, something like that? Three or so years, something like that? People forget that. Not everybody is a major star where you could be set for life. Some of these guys make some money and then they’re out at like 27-years-old. They’re retired.
Reed: Right. You have to take care of your physical, which hasn’t really been held on my part. With having to travel to Colorado twice, you know I paid for that, you know I paid for my hotel.
And you said Colorado, just wanna apprise people. Colorado is where you had the procedure. Colorado is where you’re doing the rehab, correct?
Reed: Yeah, it’s where I had that with [the] doctor. That whole staff is awesome, man. They did a great job with me. With getting me ready to go back to my doctor and continue my rehab, they walk me along slowly, because you know I was down there with Brandon Marshall when he had his hip procedure. We had something a little different but I was just trying to make him understand. I was like, ‘Look, this is a business, ain’t nothing you can do for the team right now. You know you need to get yourself back so you can help your team.’ And that’s what I’m trying to do. And I hope that over the last couple years, the last of my career really, even going back to college, that my organizations and my coaches will understand. And I talk to my coach so he already understands that my work ethic is there to try and get myself back and they know we love to play the game, they know I love to play the game. It’s not like guys don’t wanna come back. There are some issues and some situations that we need to look at and address as a business partner and as a player.
We’re talking to Ed Reed, and of course you know who Ed Reed is, all-pro safety for the Baltimore Ravens. And you were talking about the possibility of a lockout. You make it sound like it’s a done deal. You think that’s the case here?
Reed: I mean anything could happen. With the NFL, you just never know. Like I said, I don’t think it’s gonna happen, but it’s looking pretty strong right now. It’s looking pretty strong. We still have a year or so if I’m not mistaken. I don’t know if they have an expiration date or something they need ...
Host: So yeah, you guys are gonna play football this year, and I think most people will look and say, ‘Hey, if a deal isn’t done by February, then there will be a lockout come March.
Reed: Right, and then I’m gonna be starting a league. (laughs)
And you’re gonna start with your training camp?
Reed: Hey, I know guys who wanna play football. If I gotta get some buses and travel them around (laughs).
Are you gonna be a player-coach or just coaching? Or are you just gonna be [Roger] Goodell running the league?
Reed: Yeah, I’ll just be Goodell. I’ll get all the stuff situated.
(Laughs) Alright, Ed. I wanna get to your camps. I haven’t seen you in a while and I just wanna thank you personally on the air because what people don’t know is because of this job, my kid is privileged and we were on the field at training camp and he happened to be wearing our favorite Ravens jersey. He had on his No. 20 and you broke away from drills, when you were going from one drill to the next, came over and shook his hand and let him take photos with you and stuff like that and neither one of us ever forgot it and you could do no wrong from then on. It was just a wonderful day for him and he’ll never forget it.
Norris and Davis, 105.7 The Fan. We’re here with Ed Reed, who of course has his first area football camp coming up in late July. Ed, thanks for being with us. Ed, why don’t you fill in the blanks a little bit for everybody.
Reed: It’s on July 21 and 22. It’s at Randallstown High School. It’s gonna start at 8:30, registrations are probably about 7-7:30. We’re only taking about 200 kids, a couple of extra ones. But we had to put a mark because we feel like Baltimore is a great place and a lot of kids, we would love to have everybody out there, but I’ve been having my camp in Louisiana for the past eight years and 200, 300 kids have pretty much been the mark. In Louisiana it’s a little different. I have my coaches there, I have the high school kids there. I don’t know how many volunteers or players, NFL players or even high school players, we would have to help us run the camp to make it a success. We had to put a number on it. It’s gonna be a good time. We’re gonna try to get the kids some life skills. I’m gonna speak to them. I’m gonna see who’s coming. Hopefully I can get some of my teammates to speak to them. We’re gonna talk to them about everything – academics, to trying to get their information, to the requirements, to knowing about college because that’s huge. That’s huge for me. That’s pretty much my passion -- to get kids to understand, ‘Look, you can go to college. No matter your situation, get the information.’ We wanna make sure that we’re talking to them and they’re having fun at the end of the day. My friend [who will be there] … runs the boot camp in Baltimore and works with a bunch of schools down there. He’s always motivated me to do things like this and he came to mine in Louisiana. Like I said, we’re gonna have a good time. It’s on the 21st and the 22nd of July in Randallstown. You can call Brad Davis or you can go on fullaccess20.com and register on there. We’re trying to do as much as we can, just to boost the community, for one, but to really boost our youth up, to really get in there and give them some information and hopefully they can turn that around and do the same thing for a kid, their peers that they’re hanging around.
And by the way you can also go to your website because I was on your website last night. Your non-profit people can Google “Ed Reed Foundation.” Or what is it, eyeofthehurricane.org?
OK, so you can go there and people can go and read about it. A couple of things I just wanna put out: It’s very reasonable. It’s $90 and you give the kids lunch, you give them snacks and all that. So it’s very reasonable to be able to get out there July 21 and 22. You mentioned something that you and I have talked about over the years a number of times and that is the fact that you didn’t go to college just to go and major in football and then go to the NFL. You left Miami with a degree. Do you ever talk to your teammates, some of your younger players, who haven’t gotten their degree and encourage them to go back and get their degree?
Reed: All the time. I think that speaks volumes about your character. I think it’s great for your family. Just for your personal family, I was the first one to graduate in my family. I wasn’t the first to go to college, but I was the first to graduate. It’s a finished product. Go and get your degree. I was very proud to hear that my friend Andre Johnson was like, ‘Man, I’m going back to school.’ I was so excited because, yeah you have great talent. You do everything on Sundays, you do everything on the field, but you went to college, and I’m not saying that you forgot about it, but that was on your mind when you first went. I know everybody wants to make it to the NFL, but it doesn’t happen like that. And what are we gonna do after football? You don’t wanna go back and have to get your degree then. So take care of it when you can. So, I always talk to guys about it. It’s always a tough topic in season, so you have a lot of guys doing it out of season. I tried to go and get my master’s in-season. That’s a tough cookie to try to eat, but it’s just a great thing. We need more of our young youth graduating from college trying to get their education, and trying to be contributing members, positive contributing members to the community. And you can’t do that these days without great education. You can’t get a good job without great education.
It’s like mandatory now.
Reed: Right, and even when you do have a decent degree or something it’s still tough. We’re just making it tough in the USA in general with the economy man …
That’s why I love talking to you. He talks more than football all the time. We’ve had these conversations before.
Great stuff there. We’re talking with Ed Reed of the Ravens. Coming up, what did Ed think of the additions of Anquan Boldin and some of the others? We’ll ask him that next.
Reed: Man I was really excited [about the Anquan Boldin signing]. Once they started talking about Anquan, signing Donte Stallworth, all those guys, I was very excited. I was excited to have Anquan the year before, but you know that didn’t happen.
Reed: Yeah, man. To get some guys around Joe [Flacco], around his young career -- him and Troy [Smith] -- to develop those guys, that’s huge. I think that’s big to get some guys around him. [I’m] not saying that guys haven’t been around him to catch the ball, but you know it all goes together. You gotta have the coaching there, too, to make sure those guys get themselves in positions to catch the ball. But the coaches don’t play the game at the end of the day. So it’s good to see some quality receivers around Joe, and those guys can be active. I don’t know what the year is going to hold, so I’m not gonna speak on that, but I think it’s good to get some young guys around Joe. To give him a career like those guys [Ben] Roethlisberger has, like the two championships because he had a great team around him. None of those guys do it by themselves. The Peyton Mannings and the [Tom] Bradys, they don’t do it by themselves. They have great receivers like Reggie Wayne around them catching the football. Those are the guys that get the credit, but don’t get the credit. They say it’s always the quarterback. The quarterback does this or the quarterback does that, but there’s another 10 guys on the fields with him at the same time.
Well, they wear the red jerseys all the way back in high school so it’s always been like that.
Ed Reed is our guest. He’s got his football camp coming up July 21 and 22 at Randallstown High School. By the way, Metafast is offering listeners to this show eight free scholarships to the camp and we’ll have a contest coming up so people, as we get closer, will have an opportunity to send their kids there on scholarship to Ed Reed’s football camp. One of the things that you and I have always talked about over the years since the hurricane, you’ve always been very gracious about updating people about the situation in New Orleans and how the city is bouncing back. It’s near and dear to your heart. You reside there, you’re from there. I’m very curious because of something you and I have not discussed -- because this is new news -- is the impact of the oil spill down there, and whether you’ve seen it with your own eye and how it’s impacting the community.
Reed: I haven’t seen it from my own eye this year, but like I’ve told a couple people, you just don’t know how much oil has been in that water for a long time. This is nothing new. They’re just dumping more into it. They just don’t care about the Gulf, like the Gulf needs to be removed or something. It’s a shame that our own country would let this happen to our own people. Just looking at it, man it’s terrible. This is gonna affect everybody in this country, not just people in the Gulf. It’s not just those beaches. It’s going to affect everybody, animals included, and that’s a shame. All these years that we’ve been drilling and you have no solution to underwater clogging up of a oil spill. Come on, man. All this technology we’ve got evolving. iPhone comes out with a new [version] more than Prince pumps out CDs back in the 80s. Come on.
I’ll tell you something interesting. I’ll tell you something interesting. My kid who’s 11 and your son is 11 too, he said to me, ‘I don’t understand something. Explain to me Dad how they have the technology to be able to drill the hole and put the pipes down there and all that. So they had the equipment to go down there in the first place, so I don’t understand how they don’t have the ability to go down there again.’ It must be incredibly frustrating to people down in New Orleans.
Here’s where you don’t have to do that because when you’re [someone] who has his apartment paid for five years by people who do BP’s publicity, sometimes you don’t have to pay attention, and this is the stuff that makes me angry.
Reed: Either you’re gonna help or you’re not gonna help, and it’s just like when Katrina hit Louisiana. People know what needs to be done people, know that they needed to get back home and rebuild New Orleans and things like that. You had people coming out of the woodwork to go back down to New Orleans and rebuild it. The government man, I’m not gonna say the government itself, but people in places in the government just [aren’t] willing to reach that handout.
Yeah, and it looks like they’re still not.
Reed: Yeah. It’s no different in our school systems in Baltimore and New Orleans or Miami. Those inner-cities, they’re not giving kids a chance. They’re not giving the teachers a chance to really help those kids. They’re making it real tough. You’re either gonna help or you’re hurting your own country. So it’s interesting to see this thing go on like this. We have a bunch of American citizens who step up because that’s what we do. We’ll step up and go across the world to help people out. When it comes to our own backyard, it’s always a different conversation. It’s always interesting, man. It always feels like it’s the South, but like I said, it’s going to affect everybody. It’s gonna affect the economy, it’s gonna affect the weather. I don’t think we’re even gonna predict the weather patterns in the future. We’re already getting hurricanes and tropical storms and it’s just the beginning of July. It’s been warming winters, then it’s getting really cold into spring. We’re not gonna be able to predict these things.
So let me ask you a question. Anyone who is listening to this show is saying, ‘Wow he’s a really smart guy.’ You’re gonna play football for not much longer. Is life after football for you in some type of role as an advocate? I don’t know whether it’s in politics, or in running some kind of think tank, or a foundation or anything like that. But it doesn’t sound to me like you are going to retire from football and go live on a farm, or retire from football and go run a business and make millions of dollars. What is after football for you?
Reed: I don’t see me making anywhere par to what I’m making right now after football. It’s not about that for me. Of course I wanna live, but I don’t know, man, I love to coach. I love to have my football camps. I love being a part of that. I’ve even thought about taking some guys on the road and doing it. That’s a lot of possibilities out there. I don’t know, it’s really unlimited. Hopefully one of those organization might call me or I’ll be public speaking or speaking for their companies. You never know, but my passion is to really continue my camps. Hopefully we can build some relationships with some good sponsors to back this for many years. I definitely want to be a part of it and that’s what we’re reaching out to sponsors for. We’re reaching out for a two- or three-year commitment. They are giving away scholarships. We do wanna build parks, but it takes funding to do things.
Goods thing will happen, though. We talked to Cal Ripken this week and he’s building a baseball stadium that can be used for football. You’re doing the camps. And Metafast actually stepped up and is doing the scholarships, so I see good things coming.
Reed: And Metafast stepped up huge. Not just the scholarships, but to feed the kids, to have power bars out there. We got water. They gave us whatever we needed and they’ve been right there by our side. If we need anything those guys are stepping up.
Yeah, it’s a great company.
Reed: They understand what it’s for. And if you’re gonna come out here and support these kids up and build these kids up in any way, we got your back. So that’s big ups to Metafast. I appreciate everything they do over the years with us because it hasn’t just been this camp. It’s been turkey drives, and any other thing we did.
Ed Reed is our guest. Let’s wrap it up with Ed. Before I let you go, I think people listening to this show will say, ‘Alright, it sounds like he’s coming back, but I kind of want to know for sure.’ So we know that you’ve got the neck injury, you’ve got the hip injury, you’re hoping to come back. Have you told the Ravens? They went out recently and signed Ken Hamlin. Here’s a guy that’s been to the Pro Bowl. They’re not bringing up Ken Hamlin because they are confident Ed Reed is going to play in Game 1. Have you told the Ravens, ‘I’m flat out going to come back this year?’ Or is it still up in the air whether or not you will come back?
Reed: I talked to Coach Harbaugh and told him I want to come back this year. Now, I have no gripe with Ken Hamlin. He’s a great player. Ken Hamlin, if I’m not mistaken, did sign a contract with Dallas not too long after I signed my contract with the Ravens. Now he’s a Raven. So that sounded like a slap in the face to a guy playing the same position, knowing that you’re negotiating at the same time. Guys like Roy Williams, the safety, at my position they sit [back] and all this. You look at it from a business perspective, I have to look at it from a business perspective also because I’ve been in this business for nine years now and knowing I’m not going to play that much longer.
So, it bothered you a little bit then that they signed him?
Reed: No, it didn’t bother me. I welcome him. But as a business move they got to look at it like, ‘Well, OK, if Ken Hamlin was at Dallas then Dallas though very highly of Ken Hamlin giving him a contract, but now Ken Hamlin is not with Dallas, he’s with Baltimore, where this guy was in the Pro Bowl with our safety. He signed a big contract and now gets released and is playing on the same team.’ It’s no different then like I said with Roy Williams our first year. I went 24 he went fifth. He’s with Cincinnati and I’m with the same team. You take the numbers, I’m not negotiating over the phone.
Well, if you are Ed and I’m getting 4% (laughs). That’s all I’m saying. We’re taking our 4%.
Reed: I can’t give you 4%, man, but we can negotiate your things. I’m not going to say it has to be brought to the forefront like that. I talked to the media about my contract situation and I’m not making it a big deal. I think it needs to be taken care of. It also goes back to how I feel. I’m not about to ask the Ravens for anything if I’m not even going to play anymore. There’s a lot of things out there to weigh out. Like I said, I appreciate the opportunity that the Ravens have given me, but it also is a lot that goes with the job. And I’m the guy that a good bit goes with. But I am not about to ask them for anything if I’m not going to be playing. Right now my focus is to get myself back. I’ve been having a lot of trouble, but a lot of fan support has driven me to do my interview. I’m coming back for at least one more year. This year is for the fans. It’s not about me, it’s about Baltimore and the fans across the league to see us perform on the football field come Sunday and really appreciate the work that we put in. If the negotiations continue and we can do some things in the process, then I’m going to welcome it. Not saying I’m not going to call the Ravens again because we have to have some conversations, but right now my focus is to get myself back to 110%. Back to 107-yard return against the Eagles. Back to that performing at a high level, to where if I’m back that first game, we can do some good things. or the Ravens. It’s about the fans -- the fans in
I know everyone hopes you’ll be out there. Best of luck with the camp. Ed, thanks a lot. We’ll talk to you soon.
So just a few thoughts:
1) I like the idea of aiming for a week 1 return, I understand he is going to do what is best for him and I realize we will do just fine if he cant suit up for a few weeks, but its always nice having a healthy Ed Reed on the field.
2) I thought it was pretty cool to hear Ed being quite the wise man, when it came to finishing your college degree, hes got a good grasp on this thing called life.
3) If Ed starts his own league, I plan on trying out.
4) I just thought it was cool that he was with Brandon Marshall in Colorado, Ive always enjoyed seeing the players with other guys from around the league.
5) Alright I'll just get to my main point, nowhere did I read that Ed Reed has asked for a new contract. What I believe he said (and this is just me), it sounds as if Ed was referring to the fact that not many players at his position have been able to perform at a constantly high level and even after battling injuries for the past 2 seasons Ed has done a great job at what he does. I had no clue that Roy Williams was selected 5th overall in the same draft class Ed was drafted in, (get out of here!) and Ed has a really good point in that statement that while Ken Hamlin and Roy Williams signed lucrative deals around the same time as him, he is the only one who consistently held up his end of the deal. And so i can understand the thought process behind a new contract somewhere down the line, pending a healthy return and high level of performance. Maybe I just drank a little too much of the Purple Kool-Aid, maybe Ed happens to be my favorite player to ever step foot on the field, this could all be true, but nowhere did I see anything about Ed Reed asking for a new contract, so i think the media and skeptics need to get it together.