It was a tumultuous offseason for Ravens safety Ed Reed, who held out of minicamp and talked about potentially retiring.
But that seems like a distant memory now. And at 34 years old, Reed doesn't look* *like a player who is nearing the end of his career.
"He's playing as well as I've seen him play since '08, and he's played really well all those years," Head Coach John Harbaugh said.
Reed tied a career-high with nine interceptions in 2008. He returned two for touchdowns. Thus far, Reed has two interceptions in four games and a touchdown. He has seven pass deflections, just one short of his total from all of last year.
The 11-year safety has flashed in all four of Baltimore's games.
He had an interception in each one of his first two games against Cincinnati and Philadelphia. Reed's hard hitting set the tone against New England in Week 3 and he logged a season-high three pass deflections against Cleveland.
Cary Williams' pick six against the Browns last Thursday was the play of the game. But it could have been nullified had it not been for Reed coming out of nowhere to tip away a pass in the end zone on Cleveland's final drive.
But more than what Reed's doing on the field, cornerback Lardarius Webb raved about Reed's leadership this season.
He said he's been doing more off-the-field teaching than ever, which is saying something since Reed is already known for providing guidance.
"Ed is playing great on the field, but he's better, right now, at his preparation, getting us prepared," Webb said. "He is teaching us some things that we've never learned before about film watching, studying the other team. He is Hall of Fame at that right now."
Webb said the younger players have their ears open and are trying to learn from "the greatness." It's all in an effort to avoid any potential miscommunication, he said.
Reed has always been a leader in the secondary, but Webb said he would simply teach a little something here or there. This year "he's all in it."
"He is teaching us everything that he can possibly know, and I am happy for it," Webb said. "If we study film together, we are on point together, [and] communication wouldn't be the issue."
Harbaugh has taken notice of Reed, an eight-time Pro Bowler, as well.
"I just think the world of how he's playing and how he's leading," Harbaugh said. "He's been leading us in the meeting room, locker room, training room. He's just been a great leader."