Leaving a job you truly love is certainly never easy, particularly one that has been a way of life for so many years.
Such was the case for former Ravens safety Ed Reed on Thursday when the 12 year veteran, surrounded by general manager Ozzie Newsome, team president Dick Cass, and John Harbaugh, officially announced his retirement at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills.
Reed, who spent 11 years (12 total total) ballhawking in the Ravens secondary, signed a one-day contract with the team and will retire a Raven as the organization will place him on the retirement list Friday morning.
Not playing a snap since 2013, the Super Bowl Champion was filled with many emotions as he addressed members of both local and national media saying the time had come for him to call it a career.
“Thank you, Ozzie. Thank you. I don’t know really how to open this up, but it’s a great day. I’m really appreciative of the Ravens family, said Reed to the Ravens’ front office staff. “But I’m very appreciative of the Modell family, Steve Bisciotti. [There are] so many people I want to thank just from supporting me from Little League all the way up to being in the NFL, so many people that helped me to get to this point.”
“Even [having] the success here with the Ravens, so many people helped me.”
The sure-fire Hall of Famer enjoyed a stellar career. Throughout his career, he was one of the league’s best.
Reed says that he thinks about entering the Hall of Fame now that he is done playing football, but he is taking it slowly.
“One day. You know, one day, I guess I’ll be there,” remarked Reed. “When I go, everybody who was my teammate and helped me to make those plays, my mentors, they go with me.”
“Those are the people who are the Hall of Famers,” he added. “I just was the face, kind of like the head coach is for the organization, and the quarterback is. You have so many people behind the scenes who help you to do things and to achieve things that people don’t talk about. It’s not about me when I go to the Hall of Fame, if ever that happens, if God willing I’m here to see that day.”
The nine-time Pro Bowler’s 64 career interceptions rank sixth-most in NFL history. Reed’s 1,590 career interception return yards are the most of all time.
“I loved playing against all quarterbacks,” responded Reed when asked about the one or two toughest quarterbacks he faced in his career. “All of them were tough until you get into the game. I walked into every game with respect for all quarterbacks.”
He held Phillip Rivers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning in particularly high regard.
The 2004 Defensive Player of the Year scored 14 touchdowns (including playoffs) and is the only player in league history to score a return touchdown off of a punt return, a blocked punt, an interception and a fumble recovery.
Reed finished his illustrious career with 699 total tackles (661 with Ravens, 4th in team history), 6 sacks, 154 passes defensed, 12 forced fumbles and an impressive 10 fumble recoveries.
Reed’s biggest contributions have come far away from the bright lights and fame of playing in the NFL.
Ed Reed has always taken his community work very serious. Now that he is retired and has more time to devote to helping others, he is focused on getting even more involved.
“Ed is a citizen of Baltimore, a citizen of the United States and not just a great football player,” said team president Dick Cass. “He means a lot to this community. He’s going to continue to be a part of this community.”
During his playing days here in Baltimore, Reed became heavily involved with Booker T. Washington Middle School and could often be found at the school on his off days.
“I knew the kids and the community needed resources,” said Ed of his visits to the Baltimore school. “If I could be one resource, that’s what I wanted to be, helping any way I can, whether it’s putting locks on the lockers or whatever it may be, [such as] Fitness Day and giving tests to the kids to see if we can help them with their health.”
The team announced that Reed will be inducted into the Ring of Honor on Sunday November 22 when the Ravens battle the St. Louis Rams, an honor of which he truly is worthy, particularly as the organization celebrates their 20 year anniversary.
It has been an honor to cover Ed both on and off the field.
The legendary safety truly epitomizes what it means to be a Baltimore Raven.
You can watch the full press conference on the Ravens’ official website.
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