Former Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome
"Ed was a difference-maker and a game-changer. And like all great players, he elevated his teammates' play around him."
Head Coach John Harbaugh
"Ed has the hearts of everyone in Baltimore – not just because he was a great player, but also for how he served others and impacted our community. He was someone who made everyone better, whether that was on the field, in the film room or simply around town as he created opportunities for those in need.
"While he is probably the most unpredictable and dynamic defensive player in league history, I believe his best achievement is being a great dad. We are very proud of Ed and congratulate him on this incredible, well-deserved honor."
General Manager Eric DeCosta
"Ed was among the smartest and most remarkable, clutch playmakers in NFL history. You never felt the game was out of reach when No. 20 was on the field. I so enjoyed watching him compete and repeatedly marveled at his brilliance. Incidentally, I also admired his involvement with and impact on the youth of Baltimore."
Former Ravens OT Jonathan Ogden
"Ed was one of the truly genuine, great teammates I've ever had. He was a diligent student of the game, and you always knew he was going to do everything possible to prep mentally and physically to gain an advantage. He was one of the smartest players around, and he imparted that on the entire secondary.
"Opposing quarterbacks knew Ed was going to study an offense well enough to know all the tendencies. Quarterbacks couldn't allow themselves to fall into habits, because if they did, Ed would make them pay. He made so many people pay, not just because of his natural athletic ability, but also because he was already in the quarterback's head. He'd know where you'd want to throw the ball, and then he'd go pick it. Quarterbacks had to not only be aware of where Ed lined up, but also where he could end up after the play began."
Former Ravens LB Ray Lewis
"Ed is one of the best teammates I've ever had, and he is my brother for life. His talents, work ethic and leadership are unmatched, and it was such a pleasure to play with this great man for so many years. Nothing will ever be like 'Sugar' and 'Quick.' To win back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards in 2003 and 2004 – and now to be back-to-back Hall of Famers – well, it is amazing. Congrats, my brother. I am so proud to welcome you in to our 'new' team."
Former Ravens Head Coach Brian Billick
"Ed Reed is the smartest player I've ever coached. His natural intuition and preparation for the game exceeds anything I've ever been around. He was a truly unique and impactful player in the history of the NFL. No player had better range."
Former Ravens Defensive Coordinator Rex Ryan
"The first thing I think of with Ed is that he's a Raven. He's all that goes into playing like a Raven. When you play like Ed Reed, that's what you want [a player] to be. He was a football junkie and passionate guy. And oh, by the way, he's the most instinctive and probably best free safety in the history of the game. He was a playmaker, but he was also a hitter – and that's what people don't always realize.
"With Ed, when you say instinctive, some might think he was just out there flying by the seat of his pants. But, that's not the case. Ed studied as much as anybody I've ever been around. His instincts were amazing, and he was able to react because of the film study. That's probably the most underrated thing about Ed – his amazing preparation."
Former Ravens Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan
"I coached Ray Lewis and Lawrence Taylor, and Ed could disrupt a game as much as those two. It was his range – simply amazing. No deep ball was out of his reach, and he disguised his coverages better than anyone ever. He was so smart and took away quarterbacks' first reads all the time. He had them confused. My good fortune is that I coached two players who prepared better than all others: Ed Reed and Ray Lewis. That was a huge part of their secret sauces. Those two would get together on Tuesday and give me suggestions for the gameplans. They were regularly spot-on – and more."
Former Ravens Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano
"I'm so happy for Ed. He's one of the all-time greats at his position and is very deserving of this prestigious honor. He is by far one of the best playmakers that I've ever coached in my 33 years at the college and NFL levels. Ed had it all: speed, athleticism, toughness and a nose for the football. But what set him apart were his instincts, range and his drive to be the best. No one was ever going to outwork Ed, and that showed on the field. More importantly, Ed played the game the right way and was a tremendous teammate on and off the field. When you think about the all-time great safeties in this league, Ed Reed belongs in the discussion. No question."
Former Ravens LB Jarret Johnson
"Just with how he impacted the locker room, Ray's name was at the forefront, but Ed had just as big of a voice and carried his weight just as much if not more. Ray was such a personality that you always kind of felt a (separation) with him. That wasn't the case with Ed. He was just one of the guys, even though everybody knew he was Hall of Fame-caliber." (via The Athletic)
Former Ravens CB Lardarius Webb
"The best defensive player to ever play the game. The way he impacted the game, not just getting those turnovers, but the way he was running them back. … I love Ray Lewis, and that's what everybody's going
to say: 'What about Ray? What about Terrell Suggs?' I love them to death, but I'm going to be biased. You couldn't game-plan for Ed. You couldn't." (via The Baltimore Sun)
Former Ravens LB Jameel McClain
"He was always a guy who galvanized the players, a players' guy. If he thought something was unfair for one person, he wasn't afraid to speak up for that person if they didn't have a voice at the time. If you're at that platform in your career, some people don't speak up. They just feel like it's not their battle. But if there was a burning building, Ed was going to run straight to the smoke." (via The Baltimore Sun)
Former Ravens CB Domonique Foxworth
"That's really what made him special. He was obviously fast and quick, but he wasn't the fastest or quickest at any point. I think he understood the game at a coach's level, and even better than coaches, because I think he processed the information more quickly than the coaches and the quarterbacks." (via The Athletic)
Patriots QB Tom Brady
"The thing that most impressed me about Ed Reed was not only his physical ability, because he has every trait — ball skills, range, speed, quickness, but I think what set him apart was his instincts. You knew there were plays where he had deep-field responsibility and he would make a play in front of a linebacker. On the next play, you say, 'Let's throw it deep' and you drop back and he was 40 yards deep. … I think everything he did was impressive and instinctive. You never knew what he saw, but he saw everything. You were never going to fool him. He was just on some incredible defenses. He's one of the greatest safeties I've ever seen. If he gets into the Hall of Fame, it would be very well deserved. He's one of the toughest players I've ever faced." (via ESPN)
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger
"You couldn't get a tendency on him. You think you knew what he was going to do. You thought you knew where he was going to be. Then, the next thing you know, he wasn't there and he wasn't doing it. … Ed was one of those guys who was so incredibly special. He was smart, athletic. Sometimes you get a guy who is either really athletic or really smart. It's not too often you meet a guy who has both. Ed was one of those guys who literally had it all." (via ESPN)
Chargers QB Philip Rivers
"He would do unconventional things; that's why he was so dangerous. … It wasn't just like 'OK, good. They're in three-deep zone and there's Ed in the middle. We're good.' No, he's in three-deep zone, but if he sees something, he's coming to get it. You had to always to be aware of him. He had great instincts, he was a great athlete – I mean his interception numbers are crazy, and then what he did with it when he did get them -- he scored with it a lot." (via ESPN)
Former Colts WR Reggie Wayne
"You knew where Ray Lewis was going to be, but you never really had an idea where Reed was going to be." (via The Baltimore Sun)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians
"[I called him the raptor] because the raptor can cover so much ground in a little time. You've got to know exactly where he is, or he'll come up on you and change the complexion of the game in a heartbeat." (via The Baltimore Sun)