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Late For Work 2/9: Ed Reed Opens Up About Coaching For Ravens

Posted Feb 9, 2017

In his second mock draft, Todd McShay has the Ravens taking a defensive 'enigma.' Offseason prediction: Ravens will draft a CB in the first round. Can Breshad Perriman become a No. 1 receiver? What’s the tipping point for a contract with Brandon Williams?

Ed Reed Opens Up About Coaching For Ravens

Finally, we’re actually hearing from the man himself on the topic.

There’s been plenty of speculation about whether legendary safety Ed Reed would come home to Baltimore and coach the defensive backs.

Does he plan on staying in the coaching profession after a one-year trial run in Buffalo? Did the Ravens reach out to him after Leslie Frasier left for Buffalo’s defensive coordinator job, leaving a secondary coaching vacancy in Baltimore?

The answer to both of those questions is, essentially, “no.” At least for now.

Reed told the BmoreOpinionated Podcast yesterday the Ravens did “not at all” reach out to him about the coaching opening in the secondary.

Is that disappointing to him?

“No. Not at all,” Reed said. “It is what it is. What can I do? If somebody wanted to have me as a DB coach, a DB consultant to a program, or anything like that, which I’m more open to because of my family situation and because of my IQ of football, I really think I was in a good position as an assistant DB coach. But, I just know a lot more about football and business than people give me credit for.

“So, I might not want to be on that side of things right now. But, no, I wasn’t disappointed. I wasn’t disappointed at all. It’s a business, and they have people in house that they want to hire and people in their mind that they probably want to hire that fits their mold of things right now. I’m not disappointed at that.”

The Ravens have yet to officially announce who will fill the secondary coach position, but it’s been previously reported that Chris Hewitt will be promoted after serving as the defensive backs coach under Frazier last year.

Even if the Ravens had reached out to Reed with a potential job opportunity, there’s no guarantee that he would have accepted. He said he wants to focus on his family right now, and he knows coaching demands a lot of time. He tipped his hat to all the coaches out there that work long, hard hours.

Reed is grateful to Rex Ryan for giving him his first NFL coaching shot and said the experience was “eye opening.” He said he very much enjoyed his time in Buffalo, but added it was difficult because sometimes things got more complicated than he thought they needed to be.

“I understand that for me as a coach, it’s going to take a process to get to where I want to go, but I’m like, ‘Man, it’s not complicated,’” Reed said. “I just see it a little bit different than some of the other coaches do. So, it was tough. It was a tough year from that aspect.

“But, I still want to do it. I just don’t know if it’s the time right now because I have an 8-year-old son, about to be 9, and I’m about spending that time with my family.”

During his 12-year playing career, Reed was known as one of the best ball-hawk safeties of all time. His study habits, instincts and God-given athleticism allowed him to take risks and make plays and interceptions that most players can’t replicate.

As such, Reed was asked if it was difficult to coach players who are talented, but not as talented as he was as a player. He said it was important to remind himself and the players that everything was a process.

It was good relating with those guys and understanding how to coach them,” Reed said. “It was like coaching my son and his little league team. … It was good working with them, learning them and seeing what they need to work on. Helping them to work on that, but understanding that it was a process as a coach. It wasn’t going to happen overnight. For me, it didn’t happen overnight for my career.”

Reed was asked if he thought his former teammate, Ray Lewis, would dip his toe in the coaching world. Lewis recently said he’s open to the idea, even though the time might not be right now. Reed doesn’t see it ever happening.

“Nah, nah, nah. Ray is too much more than to be a coach,” Reed said, adding that the two players still keep in contact “every so often,” but are friends for life.

So if they can’t be together more often in real life, how about putting statues of them together at M&T Bank Stadium?

Reed was asked whether he would approach Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti about adding statues of himself and Hall of Fame tackle Jonathan Ogden. It’s clear he’s thought about the idea.

“Man, I don’t see why not?” Reed responded. “Put J.O. blocking … and you got to have me with a ball. It wouldn’t even be right.”

How about one of him lateraling the football?

“Nooo. No, lateral. No lateral with the statue. The statue is a touchdown,” he said chuckling.

In Second Mock Draft, McShay Has Ravens Taking Defensive ‘Enigma’

ESPN draft guru Todd McShay released his second mock draft, and he has the Ravens taking a chance on a defensive player that his colleague, Mel Kiper, called an “enigma” in Michigan State defensive tackle Malik McDowell. 

“McDowell is arguably the best interior pass rusher in this class,” McShay wrote.

“He didn't play with the same passion and toughness this season, which could cause him to slip a bit. But if you trust your defensive coaching staff and locker room to develop him and keep him motivated, McDowell could be a steal at this point in the first round. Another intriguing option is Michigan's Jabrill Peppers, given the Harbaugh connection and the Ravens' need at safety.”

Kiper recently said in a conference call with reporters that McDowell could actually be a top-5 pick purely based on talent. He showed off that talent in his first two years, but was underwhelming in 2016 and could slide down the draft board because of his inconsistency.

During his strong sophomore season, McDowell totaled 4.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss, but dipped to just 1.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss last season. He’s played throughout the defensive line, but ESPN’s Jamison Hensley says that if the Ravens did select him, the 6-foot-6, 280-pounder would be an edge rusher.

Offseason Prediction: Ravens Will Draft A CB In First Round

Hensley isn’t buying the Ravens drafting McDowell, saying he “doesn't sound like the prospect that the Ravens generally target early in the draft.”

Instead, Hensley thinks Baltimore will use its 16th-overall selection on a cornerback.

“This position has gone ignored long enough for Baltimore, which hasn't selected a corner in the first three rounds since 2011,” wrote Hensley.

“The Ravens' top three corners under contract are Jimmy Smith, who has repeatedly been injured; Tavon Young, who lacks ideal size to be an outside corner; and Shareece Wright, who likely will get cut after struggling most of the 2016 season. Baltimore could land an immediate starter with the No. 16-overall pick if one of the draft's top corners, possibly Alabama's Marlon Humphrey or Florida's Teez Tabor or Quincy Wilson, are available.”

Can Perriman Become A No. 1 Receiver?

With all the buzz around the Ravens adding a veteran receiver when free agency opens in March, perhaps the far bigger question is what their 2015 first-round draft pick can develop into this year.

Breshad Perriman essentially had his rookie season last year after a knee injury kept him out of all 16 games in 2015. Last year, he showed flashes of great potential, but struggled with consistency and finished with 33 catches for 499 yards and three touchdowns.

“The development of wide receiver Breshad Perriman remains extremely important to the Ravens as they continue planning for next season,” wrote CSNMidAtlantic.com’s Clifton Brown. “It’s too early to call Perriman a bust as a first-round pick in 2015 (26th overall). However, Perriman has not given the Ravens what they expected to this point.

“When you draft a wide receiver in the first round, you expect him to develop into a 1,000-yard receiver. … Even if the Ravens acquire a veteran wide receiver in free agency, or spend a draft high pick on a wide receiver, they need more from Perriman starting next season.”

What’s The Tipping Point For A Contract With Williams?

The Ravens would really like to re-sign defensive tackle Brandon Williams because he’s the “rock” of the interior defensive line. Williams would also like to return, so much so that he’d be willing to take a small “hometown discount” to stick around.

But just as these things so often do, it will come down to the right price, and WNST’s Luke Jones examined what the “tipping point” for each side could be.

The numbers that many point to for a possible deal is five years for $46.25 million because that’s what New York Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison was awarded last offseason. With the expected rise in the NFL’s overall salary-cap limit, Williams’ contract could be even bigger.

“The beefy nose tackle is a very good player and has been a linchpin of the run defense, but the Ravens have also gone 13-19 over the last two seasons and must address a plethora of needs this winter,” Jones wrote. “Giving Williams north of a $50 million contract would undoubtedly hinder the ability to improve other areas of the roster that haven’t been good enough.

“If letting go of the talented nose tackle means the Ravens can bring in a high-impact wide receiver or cornerback, it’s worth it in the long run. Williams is deserving of a big payday, but the Ravens doing whatever it takes to keep him isn’t going to magically get them over the hump in 2017. You can’t afford to be in love with your own players when your roster is in need of more than just subtle tweaks and there’s only so much salary-cap space to go around. That’s why a deal may not make sense for either side in the end. Even when they both want it.”

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