ESPN’s Ed Werder tracked down Ravens safety Ed Reed at his annual football camp in Louisiana this week, and Reed said that when he entered the NFL, he planned on playing until he was 35. But after suffering a hip injury and a nerve impingement in his neck in recent years, he isn’t sure how much longer he will play.
“I don’t want to be like these guys having neck surgery and then you got to have another surgery just to continue to play this game,” said Reed, who missed six games in 2010. “I love this game, but I love myself more.”
But the bigger news from this interview was Reed admitting that he and other players wanted the Ravens to hire Rex Ryan as head coach instead of John Harbaugh. We have heard that some in the Ravens locker room were pulling for Ryan to get the job in 2008, but it’s interesting that Reed would bring it up now.
"[Ryan was] like a dad, like a brother, man," Reed told Werder. "We wanted Rex as the head coach in Baltimore. We did not want him to leave. It hurt when he left. We knew he was a great coach. There was a reason why that defense was the way it was. I would play anywhere with Rex -- in a dark alley, on the street, in high school football, sandlot, anywhere -- because he makes it fun. He loves this game. He truly loves this game and there’s a reason why those guys in New York back him the way they do.”
And they have backed Ryan all the way to the AFC championship game in each of Ryan’s first two seasons as Jets head coach. Meanwhile, Harbaugh and the Ravens lost in the AFC divisional round in 2009 and 2010. Might that have something to do with Reed’s comments? Who knows, but they will certainly be a talker.