Ed Reed has talked on numerous occasions about having a desire to coach once his days as a player in the NFL are over.
So as the 35-year-old safety nears the end of his Hall of Fame career, could he see himself eventually working in the Ravens’ organization?
“I don’t know how that’s going to go. If a position opens up or something like that, of course,” Reed told Baltimore media on a conference call ahead of Sunday’s game with the New York Jets.
“I know football. You have a lot of people that work around football that never even played the game. If you can’t give Ed a job, I don’t know what to tell you.”
The 12-year veteran was a respected voice of leadership throughout his time with the Ravens, and had a reputation as a film nut. He was also known for mentoring younger players, and General Manager Ozzie Newsome said previously that he could see a place in the organization for Reed in coaching or player development.
“That’ll be up to Ed Reed,” Newsome said in January leading up to the Super Bowl. “That’ll be something that [Owner] Steve [Bisciotti] and I can talk about … it’s important for us to keep players around, but Ed’s got a lot of football [left], and if he decides he wants to do that, I think we can find a way.”
While Reed signed with the Houston Texans this offseason, he and the Ravens parted amicably. Ravens coaches and players continue to praise their former teammate, and Reed has spoken highly of his time in Baltimore.
Reed was also very well received by fans during his last visit to M&T Bank Stadium, which came in Week 3 as a member of the Texans. He was greeted with the classic chants of “Reeeeeeed” when the Texans ran out of the tunnel, and he was the last player off the field after a crowd of Ravens embraced him following the game.
When he returns this Sunday as a member of the New York Jets, Reed expects a similar reaction from the Baltimore crowd.
“I’m sure it probably will be [similar],” Reed said. “The situation is a little different. The standings are different. Those guys are playing for something, we’re playing for something. I’m sure the welcome will be good. I spent a lot of time down in Baltimore and I plan on spending a lot of time after football in Baltimore. I hope there’s a warm welcome.”
Reed was a fan favorite during his time in Baltimore, and M&T Bank Stadium will likely still be filled with plenty of fans donning his jersey this Sunday.
Reed, who now wears No. 22 with the Jets, is glad to have a new number and said he should not have worn No. 20 once he moved on from the Ravens.
“I probably should have switched it when I left Baltimore,” Reed said. “I should have never took it out of there. But it is what it is. It’s just a jersey. It’s just a number. We’ve always been known as numbers anyway in this league.”
Reed now has six games left this year with the Jets and is again set to become a free agent after this season. He has considered retiring the last few years and said he’s unsure about whether he will continue playing beyond this year.
Regardless of whether he suits up for another season or moves onto the next stage of his life, Reed has a plan to make his way back to Baltimore once his playing days are over.
“I’ll probably get away from it for a while and then just play a lot of golf around Baltimore, and spend the time in the school system that I wasn’t able to do during football season,” Reed said.