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Tag:Ed Reed
Posted on: March 24, 2011 12:35 pm
 

Offseason checkup: Baltimore Ravens

Posted by Andy Benoit 



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups. Also, check out our checkup podcast:





Another strong Ravens season ended with a playoff loss to the Steelers. While a 12-4 regular season record is nothing to scoff at, in the absence of postseason success the Ravens presumably at least wanted to see more progress from their young offense.

Joe Flacco made strides in his third season, but it wasn’t reflected in his numbers. Very telling was that Flacco’s de facto mentor, Jim Zorn, was fired less than 12 months after coming aboard. Fellow third-year star Ray Rice wasn’t healthy early on and struggled to find his rhythm.

A superstar-laden defense continued to mask most of the offensive inconsistencies (and to be clear, Baltimore’s wasn’t a bad offense overall). Ed Reed was in his usual All-World form (NFL leading eight interceptions), while defensive lineman Haloti Ngata surpassed Ray Lewis and the perpetually underrated yet still well known Terrell Suggs as the brightest star up front.




SYMPTOMS, SYMPTOMS

Willis McGahee was stellar as the team’s backup running back and short-yardage specialist. But Le'Ron McClain, though considered a fullback, could be a cut better than that. For starters, recall that McClain rushed for 902 yards as the team’s featured ballcarrier in 2008. At 260 pounds, he’s one of the most physical lead-blockers in the game. That physicality can easily apply to short-yardage running situations.

Surprisingly, McClain is also light-footed enough to handle the rock in space. What’s more, he has softer hands than McGahee and quicker hips which allow him to catch and turn upfield. This isn’t to say the fifth-year pro is a lightning bolt, but in filling McGahee’s void, he’d be an upgrade.

If McClain became the No. 2 running back, the Ravens could still use him as the primary fullback. In that case, they would just need to find a No. 2 fullback (if they want someone other than incumbent Jason McKie). A No. 2 fullback can be had on the cheap.




1. Wide Receiver
This somehow is a need every year in Baltimore. The addition of Anquan Boldin has given Joe Flacco a true go-to target, though watch closely and you’ll see that Derrick Mason was actually Flacco’s first option whenever the chips were down last year. Mason is 37 but shelved his annual retirement vacillation early this offseason. Even with his return, a long-term replacement must be sought. And in the short-term, that long-term replacement could fill the No. 3 receiver void if petulant T.J. Houshmandzadeh and non-achieving Donte’ Stallworth are not brought back. In that case, consider the Ravens not just in need of a wide receiver, but rather, a speedy wide receiver. There’s no one on this offense fast enough to stretch the field at this point.

2. Running Back/Fullback
GM Ozzie Newsome will wisely not pay Willis McGahee the $5 million he’s owed in 2011, so a backup to Ray Rice is needed. Fullback Le'Ron McClain could fill this void (as mentioned above) but either way, depth is an issue.

3. Cornerback
Getting Domonique Foxworth back healthy helps, but there’s no guarantee he’ll be the same as before his knee operation. Lardarius Webb is arguably the best deep ball defender in the NFL, but he lacks size and might be better suited for a No. 3 role (the jury is still deliberating). Josh Wilson came on strong down the stretch, making cornerback a less dire need than it’s been in recent years. But Wilson is not under contract long-term.




The Ravens remain stacked on both sides of the ball. If Flacco can take that next step (which includes having greater presnap authority in shifting formations and plays, as well as throwing more over the middle of the field) the rest of this offense will follow.

Defensively, Ray Lewis is aging, but he’s surrounded by enough stars to still thrive. The expectations for 2011 are pretty simple: win the AFC.

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Posted on: January 27, 2011 12:36 pm
 

Ed Reed shares tough details about his brother

Posted by Andy Benoit

The body of Ed Reed’s younger brother was found near the Mississippi River this week. Brian Reed, 29, had gone missing after he reportedly jumped into the river to flee Louisiana authorities. Reed was being followed because the car he was driving did not belong to him.
E. Reed (US Presswire)
We all heard this news right before the Ravens traveled to Kansas City for their wild card bout. On the surface, it sounded like a story of a criminal with an unhappy ending. But that wasn’t the case.

At the news conference announcing his brother’s confirmed death, Ed Reed shared with the media what happened.

On January 7, Brian Reed left the family’s home in his brother Edwin’s car without permission. Brian was dealing with what Ed Reed describes as “mental issues.” Concerned family members asked police to find Brian and help bring him home. They found him when the car ran out of gas near the St. Charles-Jefferson Parish line. Police stopped to help.

"We knew; the parish knew; that day that my brother was having some mental issues and (his parents) contacted the police and had to report the car stolen to try to basically slow my brother down and bring him in, bring him home,” Reed said. “Unfortunately, he thought otherwise and the officer was not able to apprehend him and bring him home. ... It was nothing illegal going on or anything like that. It was just an issue where concerned parents were trying to bring their child to safety."

At the news conference, Reed tried his best to make sense of everything.

"(Brian) had some mental stuff going on before, (but) there was truly no sign of this happening. Like Sheriff (Greg Champagne, of St. Charles Parish) said, we don’t know what triggered it, we don’t know what happened ... between him running from the police officer and the decision he made.

"We know that there’s bigger things in life, principalities, that we have to deal with spiritually. Maybe he was dealing with something and having more pain than we ever (knew) that made him make that decision. My brother was not that type of person to have that mentality of doing anything to himself. He was always real close to us and we were close to him.”

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Category: NFL
Posted on: January 23, 2011 6:49 pm
 

Reed's brother's body found in Mississippi River?

Posted by Will Brinson

Ed Reed's brother has been missing for some time -- but it appears that the not-knowing stage of his suffering could be coming to an end. That's because Kenner police believe they've found the body of Brian Reed.

According to Lt. Wayne McInnis (via NOLA.com), authorities responded to the discovery of a body near Alliance Street about 4:00 PM.

The identity of the body has yet to be released, but authorities believe it's Reed's brother, and the location of where the body was found is near where Reed's brother jumped into the river after being chased by police.

There doesn't seem to be a happy ending to this scenario, but there appears that there's a chance for some closure.

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Posted on: January 22, 2011 11:40 am
 

Jets think Hines Ward is rather dirty

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In the debate about whether Steelers WR Hines Ward is a tough, gritty, blue-collar WR who makes hard, but clean blocks on defenders or a dirty, cowardly head hunter, I usually lean toward the former.

I’m pretty sure a wide variety of players – like Jets LB Bart Scott, Ravens S Ed Reed and Bengals LB Keith Rivers, all of whom have been hammered by Ward – would disagree with my assessment.

You can add Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to the list.

“Our guys I think called him the toughest guy in the league when nobody’s looking,” Pettine said, via ESPN New York.

Considering Ward was voted by his peers in Sports Illustrated as the dirtiest player in the league, Pettine’s comment might have some merit. That doesn’t mean the “tough, gritty, blue collar” thing is wrong, though.

“That works for them,” Pettine said. “He’s kind of the spark that gets them going and we are well aware of it.”

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Posted on: January 13, 2011 2:47 pm
 

Ed Reed getting by with help of his teammates

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

You already know about Ed Reed’s family struggles lately and about how his brother, Brian Reed, jumped into the Mississippi River last week to avoid police and hasn’t been seen since. Yet, despite all that, Reed played well in Baltimore’s win against Kansas City.

Obviously, it hasn’t been easy for him. But he’s been helped by his blood family in Louisiana, with whom he visited the early part of this week, and his family in Baltimore – his teammates.

"This is, like I said, a child's game that we play," Reed said, via the Sports Xchange. "It's not tough to focus on this. Being around these guys helped me stay focused and going forward in life, knowing that God has got everything. I'm not worried, and I wasn't worried about football. That's the least of my worries."

Although he obviously was worried about his brother, who is still missing though police have called off their search, missing last week’s game vs. the Chiefs wasn’t an option. That's his job, Reed said, and he wasn't going to take the day off.

"We circled around him," Ravens DE Cory Redding said. "We consoled him and let him know that we were going to do everything we could. We had his back, and we let him know, 'When you hurt, we hurt.'"

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Posted on: January 13, 2011 11:43 am
 

Hot Routes 1.13.10: Orange ties are always in



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • John Fox brought an orange tie to his interview with the Broncos on Wednesday. And after getting delayed by weather twice earlier this week, Fox finally actually made it to Denver. So, what separates him from the other Broncos candidates? "I've been doing it. I have a plan, whether it's a bye week schedule, a training camp schedule. It's not my first rodeo, so to speak," Fox told the Associated Press. "So, I think I do have a blueprint to do it. We've had success, some years more than others. But you know the full body of work I think holds a blueprint for success."
  • And while we’re talking about Polamalu, the NY Times does a nice job on the spiritual side of the guy with the best hair in the league.
  • The Steelers Lounge caught up with Merril Hoge about this weekend’s Steelers-Ravens game.

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Posted on: January 13, 2011 10:47 am
Edited on: January 13, 2011 12:32 pm
 

Steelers vs. Ravens: 7-Point Divisional Preview

Posted by Josh Katzowitz



CBSSports.com's patented and award-winning 7-point preview gets you ready for each and every playoff game. As an added bonus, check out our playoff podcast preview:



1. Baltimore Ravens (No. 5, AFC, 13-4) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 2, AFC, 12-4)

This is perhaps the best rivalry in the NFL today. No, strike the “perhaps.” It is the No. 1 rivalry for toughness, defensive struggles, bloody and broken noses and grit. We’re lucky enough to see these two AFC North squads play twice a year, but it’s always an extra treat to watch them face off in the playoffs.

These two had the same regular-season record, and when they met in Week 4 and Week 13, both contests were decided by three points – one win for the Ravens and one for the Steelers. LB Terrell Suggs said earlier this week that the winner of this game will triumph in the Super Bowl. He might very well be right.

2. PLAYOFFS?! Watchability Ranking



I hate going five out of five, but in the Divisional Playoffs, to get this matchup, there’s really no other choice.

3. Key Matchup to Watch: Ravens offensive line vs. Steelers linebackers

For the second straight week, Baltimore’s tackles will have to figure out how to slow down the opponent’s 3-4 defense linebacking corps. Last week, the Chiefs sacked Ravens QB Joe Flacco four times and put pressure on him throughout the game, and Kansas City linebacker Tamba Hali made life very difficult for the Ravens offensive line.

Baltimore LT Michael Oher had a particularly tough time protecting his quarterback, and if he continues to struggle, Steelers LBs James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons will be happy to take shots at Flacco.

But it’s not just about pass protection. The offensive line also has to open holes for RB Ray Rice and Willis McGahee, and if they can’t get into the second level of the Pittsburgh defense, the Ravens are going to have big problems. The Steelers allow only 62.8 rushing yards per game – by far, the best number in the league – and the two times these two teams played this year, Rice combined for 17 carries and 52 yards.

If the offensive line can’t help him improve on those numbers, it’s going to be very tough for Baltimore’s offense to find enough balance to beat the Steelers.

4. Potentially Relevant Video

Those Troy Polamalu Head & Shoulders commercials are pretty hit or miss. Some are fairly funny; some are disastrous. But what I like best about them is that Polamalu is actually a pretty effective comedy actor. “You asked with your eyes, Trent. You asked with your eyes."



5. The Ravens will win if ...

QB Joe Flacco continues to hit TE Todd Heap every chance he gets. Flacco targeted Heap 13 times last week in Kansas City, and Heap caught 10 of those passes for 108 yards. If he finds the end zone a couple times vs. the Steelers, Baltimore could pull off its second-straight road playoff win.

6. The Steelers will win if ...

QB Ben Roethlisberger can pick apart the Ravens secondary. Which he should do. Aside from Reed, who’s still world class, and Chris Carr, Baltimore’s defensive backs corps is awfully mediocre.

7. Prediction: Steelers 16, Ravens 10



Posted on: January 11, 2011 7:15 pm
 

Ed Reed returns to Ravens practice

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

After spending a few days in Louisiana with his family in the wake of his brother’s disappearance, Ravens S Ed Reed returned to Baltimore today, and his teammates were delighted to see him.

Said RB Willis McGahee, via the National Football Post: “As a team, we've got his back. As a friend, I've got his back."

Reed and his family have been going through a tough time.

His 29-year-old brother, Brian Reed, jumped into the Mississippi River last week to elude the police, who were chasing him because they suspected he had stolen a car. Reed still is missing.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com