Ed Reed spent 11 years with the Ravens, earning nine Pro Bowl nods and 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors, as well as helping the franchise capture its second Super Bowl championship at the end of the 2012 season.
After that title, Reed left the organization that used its 2002 first-round draft pick on him and split the 2013 season with the Houston Texans and New York Jets before retiring. He will return to M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday as an assistant defensive backs coach for the Buffalo Bills, who are helmed by Rex Ryan, Reed's former mentor.
The impending sight of Reed on the sideline and in a headset as a coach has already flummoxed Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs.
"It will be kind of weird," Suggs said after Wednesday's practice. "It's going to be kind of weird to see Superman in street clothes. I guess he's Clark Kent now. It's going to be kind of weird, but we have a job to do, man. We have to get down to business. Before the game, it's probably going to be, 'Hey, what's up?' After the game, if it goes according to plan, there's going to be a little love. But if not, it's going to be a little weird, too. It's going to be weird, but we'll get over it real fast."
Cornerback Jimmy Smith, who played two seasons with Reed, sounded surprised when informed that his former teammate is now a Bills coach. But Smith said there won't be much sentimentality before or during the contest.
"He's a friend, but he ain't playing. So it doesn't really matter," Smith said. "He was playing for the Jets when he came back and we played against him [in the Ravens' 19-3 victory on Nov. 24, 2013]. He's been gone for a little while now. So it's not going to be a big deal."
Similarly, Suggs said he is not worried about Reed sharing his knowledge of quarterback Joe Flacco and the offense with the defensive backs in their meeting room.
"If he was lining up, then I'd be a little concerned," Suggs said. "There's only one Ed Reed, man. No matter how you coach it, no matter how you line it up, there's only one Ed Reed."