LOMBARDI’S WAY: RAVENS TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS

Lombardi's Way LOMBARDI’S WAY: RAVENS TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS

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It was a fairly interesting weekend in Honolulu for Ravens’ Pro Bowler Ed Reed.  First he tied a Pro Bowl record with two interceptions and narrowly missed setting the record with a third.  Then there was the debated topic on message boards around town and in Indianapolis about Reed wearing a Colts’ baseball cap during some of the televised Pro Bowl festivities. 
 
And finally there was that comment about AD and the Ravens organization.
 
First things first…
 
During the Pro Bowl Game Ed Reed was Ed Reed and he played the way he does when he’s at his best and that is with joy and a spirited form of competitiveness.  He had fun in a game that is designed purely for that purpose.
 
Earlier during the week Reed was seen at various Pro Bowl festivities and events wearing a Colts cap.  Some in these parts got their knickers in a twist over that.  But really, what’s the big deal?  You can’t expect Reed to feel the angst towards the Colts that many Baltimoreans feel.  And while we expect Reed to be one of us, he’s not.  He didn’t grow up here and he can’t relate and that’s not his fault.
 
Besides, who’s to say that he didn’t have a bet with former Miami Hurricane teammate and roommate Reggie Wayne?  You think some of us are a bit too sensitive at times?  It’s just a baseball cap and if the truth be told, it’s a pretty good looking one at that.
 
What doesn’t look too good for Reed is his publicly expressed opinion on how the Ravens are handling the contract status of teammate Adalius Thomas.  As reported by Charles Robinson from Yahoo! Sports, Reed served up this gem:
 
"You hate to see the Ravens even put [AD] in this kind of predicament. That goes to show you how shady and how bad the business is and how bad certain organizations are. I really think he should have been signed a long time ago. It should have never gotten to this point. He has been nothing but loyal to them. Not only the city, but the organization. If he gets away, it’s a terrible decision on their part. It was a terrible decision to even let it get this far."
 
Reed should stick to playing safety!
 
But since you went there Ed…
 
What if instead of making you the NFL’s highest paid safety of all time, the Ravens decided to tag you and sign AD to a long term deal?  That may have been the prudent “business” thing to do given that franchised safeties only get a tad less than $4.5 million.
 
Would that make the Ravens front office better businessmen?
 
And what if in doing so, they weren’t able to afford players like Steve McNair or Trevor Pryce?  What if they couldn’t re-sign Bart Scott?  Might that have been better business?
 
These athletes kill me sometimes.  They’ll play that “business card” when it’s convenient for them but when an organization takes its time to assure that they are making the proper moves to maintain competitive balance they suddenly become a bad organization? 
 
You know that same organization that said nothing publicly about Reed’s freelancing earlier in the season that left the Ravens secondary vulnerable – that same organization that had to be scratching its collective head in October wondering if the old Ed Reed was the Ravens’ answer to finding Waldo.
 
Where was the real Ed Reed then?
 
Fortunately for the Ravens, Reed showed up later in the season, he stuck to the game plan and produced the kind of results that are expected of the game’s best and most expensive safety.
 
Maybe Ed you should just stick to playing your position.  Steve Bisciotti doesn’t tell you how to play safety.  You shouldn’t be telling him how to run his business. Bisciotti rewarded Reed handsomely and expects him to be a leader.  This outburst shows anything but leadership. 
 
It’s understandable that Reed would want AD to be part of the defense.  And if the front office believes that re-signing AD gives them the best chance to win in the future then they’ll do it.  If they don’t well then that Ed Reed is part of the business of the NFL in all its glory.
 
The Ravens should not fall back into that trap of allowing players to influence personnel decisions.  We saw how well that worked in 2004 and 2005.
 
Do you Reed me?

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24×7 Networks, LLC’s founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and he hosts “The Fanimal” also heard on 105.7 The Fan, Saturdays from 8-9AM. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi.

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