Always-interesting Ravens safety Ed Reed touched on a variety of topics during a nearly 12-minute interview session with the media yesterday. Here are some of his thoughts on a variety of topics:
On the team's three road losses to teams with combined records of 13-20: "That ain't got nothing to do with this week. Those games are behind us. We learned from those games the day after we played them. We played Tennessee, we made corrections on that Monday, and [the same] for Jacksonville and Seattle. Those games are behind us, man. If we did go to Cleveland and pitch a loss, I'm sure they played better than we did that day just like those other teams. The only statistics that matter is whether you get that W or that L. We learned from those games. Those games really don't matter to this point. There ain't much I can say about those. They're in the past, they're behind us. All you can do is know that you made those corrections and you move forward from them. We understand that this is a professional league. This is the NFL. You have to be prepared every week. There's no week we don't come here to prepare. It's like we came here those three weeks and said, 'you know what, we're going to go down here and lose.' No man, we didn't do that. Those guys played their [butts] off in Seattle. Jacksonville executed their game plan to the fullest and Tennessee did the exact same thing. They approached us different. That's what happened. Those guys came out and they were better professionals that day. There is a reason people say any given Sunday."
On the Browns-Ravens rivalry: "The rivalry speaks for itself because you got Baltimore and Cleveland. This organization [which] got established in 1996 was in Cleveland. That in itself makes it even more of a rivalry especially for Cleveland. Being on the other side of that, those Mayflower trucks leaving man, I could only imagine how a city would feel about a team leaving like that. We understand it. Guys know that we as an organization came from Cleveland. None of us probably were born - [well], some of us were probably born but don't remember it all happening. The blood is not there for us but we understand we're right in the mix of it."
On whether he agrees with teammate Terrell Suggs that the team's window to winning a championship is starting to close a little: "You really start to feel it mainly when you know you're in the playoffs. You know that if you don't win, that's it. I've played this game long enough to know that you have to be turning on all cylinders. You have to have everybody in place to go and win that thing. We shoot for it every year and we're going to continue to shoot for it until the wheels fall off. But if we don't get it, we don't get it. As long as we're giving that effort, doing our best, that's all that matters at the end of the day."
On Browns running back Peyton Hillis: "He's a power runner. It reminds me of Tampa Bay when they had [Mike] Alstott back there. He kind of looks the same. That's what you're going to get with Peyton. He's a helluva back. I know he's got some contract stuff that he's trying to work out and it's difficult playing under those circumstances. He has to be able to weed out the difference and play ball. I know he's been hurt with the hamstring and that's tough on a big guy like that. That definitely slows him down. He looks like he's 100 percent now after watching him in the Cincinnati game. We know we have a task with tackling that guy. He's a hassle, but we're definitely prepared for the task."
On long-time teammate Ray Lewis being out with a toe injury: "When I was out for those six weeks last year, it hurt. It definitely takes something out of you. But you know Ray is working hard to try and get back out here. We all know that. I told him, 'Don't rush it.' At the end of the day, we need him for the long haul of the season, which is coming up. We would love for him to be playing right now, but that goes back to what I was saying about being a professional. The next guy, he has to understand that for one, you have to prepare as a starter on our defense. We don't ask for nothing less around here. Everybody has to be ready to play at any given time because you never know when somebody is going to go down. When I was out last year, [Tom Zbikowski] stepped up and we won games. And that's the same thing that has to happen now if Ray's not going to play this week or the week after. Guys have to understand that they have to be professionals and hold their job done. At the end of the day, this is a job, too."