Ed Reed officially announced his retirement on Thursday, May 7th, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills. We knew this day would come and now we look forward to his name being added to the Ravens Ring of Honor and the 5-years to pass before his first ballot Hall of Fame induction (Sorry, Troy Polamalu, Ed’s first. You’ll have to wait six years).
Let’s take the time to look back at the legendary career that had fans stand and yell REEEEEEEEEEDDDDDD until they passed out from lack of oxygen.
First Round Pick
The Baltimore Ravens selected Ed in 2002 with the 24th overall pick. Ozzie Newsome has made plenty outstanding selections in the first round of the draft but Reed turned out to be one of his greatest.
Ozzie told USA Today reporter Gary Mihoces, “With Ed, you had to watch a lot of tape because he played on a team that probably had eight or nine guys that came on to play in the National Football League. But anytime a play needed to be made to make a difference in the ball game, Ed Reed made that play. … In a critical point, whether it was a third-down play or fourth-down play, some play that Miami needed to seal the ballgame, Ed Reed made that play.” Ed did just that throughout his career for the Purple and Black.
NFL Defensive Player of the Year 2004
In every highlight reel you can find of Ed Reed’s career, one of the plays that always stands out is the record-setting 106-yard pick-six against the Cleveland Browns. He finished the season with 76 tackles and 9 interceptions with 358 return yards. It was a banner year for the Ravens’ safety.
2008: The Year Of Ed
At this point in his career, Reed was already becoming a walking highlight reel. Ed recorded seven interceptions in 2007 and was looking to step it up with a new head coach in 2008. His 106-yard interception return record would be broken this year. The new record for longest interception return in NFL history would be set as the Ravens took on the Eagles. On a 2nd-and-goal, Kevin Kolb threw a questionable pass that Reed would step in front of. No laterals this time, folks. Reed was taking this one himself, 108 yards to the house, eluding tackle attempts by Kolb, Brian Westbrook and Brent Celek.
Another giant highlight of his career came in another game this season. Reed would come up big in a game against local rival, the Washington Redskins. Ed’s former teammate at the U and fellow 2002 Draft classmate, Clinton Portis would take a hand-off and Ed would pick his pocket, come up with the ball and take it the other way for a 22-yard touchdown.
Reed had 3 defensive touchdowns for the Ravens in 2008.
2000’s All-Decade Team
We could talk about all the reasons Ed deserved to be named to this list but instead, just enjoy this highlight reel of moments:
Two Tickets to Paradise
All the individual accolades in the world, including leading the NFL in interceptions 3 times, NFL record 1,590 INT return yards, 9 career postseason INTs (tied for an NFL record), eight All-Pro selections and nine Pro-Bowl selections are great but what every athlete wants is a championship. That ring had eluded Reed through 10 years with the Ravens finally came in his 11th year. In 2012, after a playoff run that will be forever remembered as “Ray’s Last Ride,” Ed finally got to hoist the coveted Lombardi trophy high above his head, look to the sky as confetti fell upon his head and enjoy the pinnacle of his career and culmination of all of his hard work.
Not to mention the fact that he come up with one of his trademark interceptions when he picked off Colin Kaepernick in Super Bowl XLVII and made a critical tackle of Frank Gore in the 4th quarter.