ED REED CONFERENCE CALL
On what the key to beating New England this weekend is: "Us scoring more points than them. That's going to be it at the end of the day – us getting into the end zone more than we allow them to."
On Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's comments that Reed is one of the greatest safeties of all time: "I love Bill Belichick. He is a great coach, great man – raising men to do the right thing and win championships in this league. He has done it over the years. So, [I have] a lot of respect there for coach."
On if he thinks a lot of fans from Baltimore will travel to New England for the game on Sunday: "I'm not sure. I'm not the one selling tickets. I am guessing that there will be a lot of Ravens fans in the building, a lot of Patriots fans also. It's going to come down to a football game at the end of the day."
On his remarks about QB Joe Flacco and his play: "It's about the Ravens and New England playing football. All that other stuff is to the side. That was about the last game. It's irrelevant to what we're doing right now, getting ready for the Patriots. What was said was something I said about the whole team. It wasn't just Joe being criticized about how we play. We were critical of ourselves in that game, and that's every teammate of mine talking about the game that we watched on film. We weren't satisfied with our effort."
On the difficulty of reading Patriots QB Tom Brady as a quarterback: "It's not up to me to read Tom Brady. He has a lot of other guys out there on the football field with him. It's within the defense what I have to do when it comes to my job. That's what I'm going to be focused on more than anything is what I have to do and what my job is to help my team."
On it being a challenge facing New England's explosive offense: "Definitely. They've got a lot of guys over there that are very explosive. Obviously, they score a lot of points, and we've all seen that. It's going to be an all-day affair for our defense."
On this being a day in age where you can't be honest in the media and avoid flak: "Yeah, that's just what it is. Even yesterday doing the interview with ESPN, they show what they wanted to show. Again, there I was talking about the whole team, but they only showed me reacting to the offense because they wanted to pub it even more. It caused some flak around here. We're good. We all are honest with each other as a team. We're not focused on that, like I said. We're thinking about this game. What happened last game is last week."
On the Ravens handling flak better than most teams because they are honest with each other: "Yeah, that [honesty] has been around here for a long time, probably since before I even got here. It's probably in every locker room. You probably wouldn't say things like that in the media, because what is said around here to ourselves probably shouldn't be broadcasted publically, because the public would never understand. Even fans in Baltimore would never understand."
On the urgency of winning with the window closing on his career: "We'll cross that bridge when the window closes. We'll cross that bridge when that happens. Right now, we're focused on playing football and winning this game. That's what it's about at the end of the day. It's about us going out and trying to win this game to the best of our ability, and that's what we're going out there to do."
On the Ravens being the underdog and feeling like they need to come out and prove something: "We couldn't care less about what people think about us across the league. It's not about what people think on the outside of this building. It's about us proving to ourselves what we can do and knowing what we can do and going out there and proving it."
On it being more important for the Ravens to stop Brady or the tight ends: "It's more important that we stop their whole offense. We can't focus on one particular player, because Brady doesn't. Brady throws it to everybody. I've been saying that all week. He'll throw it to an offensive lineman. We're looking at everybody that's eligible that's going out on a route and not going out on a route. We're paying attention to everybody. Everybody has a responsibility. They have 11 guys on the field. We have 11 guys on the field. Everybody has to do their responsibility."
On him being a veteran and keeping the young players focused on the field: "It hasn't been a hard job to keep those guys focused. They understand where we're at. They understand how we work. They understand our mission. It hasn't been hard. Those guys really have been following suit with the leaders at that position and doing what they need to do to take care of their bodies and listening to the coaches and to the leaders about how to stay in shape, study film and get themselves prepared for the next game every week."
On going undefeated at home and 4-4 on the road this season: "We're in the playoffs now. Records are 0-0. Particularly this week, this is a championship football game. No record matters. I don't care if we were playing in New England. I don't care if we were playing wherever. I mean the real [England]. I don't care where we are playing – cross-country in London – it doesn't matter. Records don't matter right now. The home-field advantage helps them at the end of the day, of course. That's what they played for in season, but records don't matter right now. We're excited about playing football, and I'm sure they are."
On the tight end position evolving around the league: "They're more athletic. Guys have just gotten more athletic at the position. That's what has been looked for. You see receivers converted to tight ends. You take guys like Jimmy [Graham] with the Saints right now, just more athletic guys, bigger guys, taller guys, big guys with basketball bodies. That's what, I guess, teams are looking for that they need in the inside to kind of be big enough for a safety, big enough for linebacker. Stuff like that."
On what makes the Patriots difficult to stop: "It's a good efficient offense. The way their wheels turn from the offensive line to the running back to the receivers and tight ends. They're very explosive, very efficient about what they're trying to do. You have to keep your eyes on all of them. They've got a bunch of weapons, and we all know that."
On being considered one of the best safeties of all time:"I don't think that stuff will hit home until I am done playing. When I'm done playing, it will probably hit home more, but right now, I'm just loving and playing this game with my teammates. All of this talk about this and that stuff is irrelevant, because everybody has their own opinion. Not everybody likes Ed Reed."
On having a nose for the ball: "I've just been playing football for a long time. I've been playing football since I was a little kid, so it's just some natural blessings that God has blessed me with to get to the ball and understand what I've been doing over the years."
On what he said to Flacco to clear the air: "I didn't have to say anything. Joe has been here a long time. I've been here with Joe since he's gotten here. I know Joe is a smart quarterback. He's our quarterback regardless of anything, and that's pretty much that is all to it. We talked a little bit, but it's no different than the talks we've had over the weeks. I didn't have to say much. He didn't have to say much. We all know the goal. Joe really just came to me as a leader saying, 'You know, they're going to run with it.' And sure enough, you all are running with it – not everybody on the [conference call] – but the media. I mean, it's part of it. It comes with the territory, especially when you say something like that. But, so be it. Like I said, we're good about it. We're past it. We'll focus on the game at task right now."
On the Ravens having a good offense and defense: "Our offense has been great. It's the reason that we've gotten to this point. There's not much I can say about it. We, as a team, have gotten ourselves to this point by being a good offense, a good defense and good special teams."