Ravens safety Ed Reed played a lot of sports growing up and has long been regarded as one of the best athletes in the NFL. So it came as no surprise when before tonight's Orioles-Tampa Bay Rays game at Camden Yards, Reed looked quite comfortable taking batting practice and running around center field shagging flyballs.
Wearing a No.20 home white Orioles' jersey, he then proceeded to throw a nice tailing fastball to Brian Matusz for the ceremonial first pitch.
“Seeing me out here just means that I’m out here playing a little baseball and kind of putting my resume in if they need me," said Reed when asked if his presence in Baltimore means he's raring to go for the football season. "This is just, like I say, I’m in Baltimore enjoying myself, seeing family, getting into the atmosphere. It’s a different time of the year. I can remember being a rookie coming in this weekend ... and doing some foundation stuff, so it definitely brings back some memories, going into my 11th year."
Earlier in the week, Reed's safety partner - Bernard Pollard - received a three-year extension from the Ravens. Reed, who is entering the final year on his contract, said in a radio interview earlier this offseason that he felt "disrespected" by the Ravens. The comment was taken as a sign that Reed was not happy with his current contract and wanted an extension.
Asked tonight if he had any plans to meet with General Manager Ozzie Newsome when he was in town, Reed said, "No, not meeting with Ozzie. I don’t even think Ozzie is taking my calls right now.”
Reed was laughing as he made the Newsome comment so we presume he was joking. Then again with the mercurial safety, you never know.
The free safety, who is almost a certain Hall of Famer when he retires, also acknowledged that he's spoken to Terrell Suggs since the linebacker tore his Achilles' tendon, an injury that required surgery and is expected to keep the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year out for a good part - if not all - of the 2012 season.
“It was tough and I know Suggs will do everything he can to recover. It’s all about recovery," said Reed who has dealt with own share of injuries the past couple of years. "This is a business. It’s something that you’ve got to bounce back from. It’s how he comes back is the most important thing. It’s not what everybody else is saying about timing and all that, because I’ve been through this with my hip and I had to get on [the physically unable to perform list] because I knew if I didn’t get on PUP I’d have wanted to play like I did. I’d have wanted to play the first game against the Jets and that wasn’t a smart thing to do.
"So, like I told Suggs, just make sure you recover and rehab yourself to 100 percent before you come back. Don’t try to rush this back, saying you’re going to be back August, September, whatever it is you think you’re going to be back, it’s going to be the injury that tells you that you’re ready.”