Reed Lands NFL Coaching Position … Not In Baltimore
The greatest safety in the history of the game will impart his wisdom on the Buffalo Bills.
Future Hall of Famer and former Ravens safety Ed Reed was hired by his longtime coach, Rex Ryan, to be his assistant defensive backs coach. Ryan was Reed's defensive coordinator from 2005-08 in Baltimore and head coach of the New York Jets in 2013.
Reed always made it known that he would like to coach, but wasn't sure if he should do it at the high school, college or professional level. It looks like he'll start at the top.
"Ed Reed is going to be such a great asset to our team," Ryan said in a statement released by the team. "Obviously, he's played in this system and been an MVP-caliber guy in this system. He's going to be such a great asset for players. He's a real student of the game as well and he's going to be a phenomenal coach."
In addition to his incredible physical talent, Reed was known for his football acumen, devoted film study and ability to break down opponents.
While still playing with the Ravens, Reed took it upon himself to mentor young defensive backs as they studied the game. Lardarius Webb and Cary Williams were among the many who praised Reed for helping raise their game.
Reed, 37, officially retired in May and was inducted into the Ravens Ring of Honor in November. He played 12 seasons and was voted into the Pro Bowl for nine of them. He was also a five-time first-team All-Pro and the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2004.
"Ed Reed is one of my four or five favorite players in the history of football, so I am totally, 1,000 percent geeked out by the prospect of him coaching DBs and breeding a new generation of ball-hawks to snatch passes out of the air," wrote CBSSports.com's Jared Dubin.
My bet is there are plenty of Ravens fans that feel the same way, but wish it was John Harbaugh and the Ravens who were announcing this hire. It's unknown whether the Ravens even pursued Reed as a coach.
"The news surely will annoy Ravens fans who hoped Reed would return to the organization and work with a secondary that has struggled since his departure to force turnovers," wrote The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec.
ESPN's Jamison Hensley isn't so sure Reed would have been a good coaching fit in Baltimore, however.
"He was a handful for his coaches throughout his playing days," Hensley wrote. "That part of Reed's career as one of the best safeties in NFL history often goes overlooked. … Most Ravens coaches and players will acknowledge Reed's brilliance. They will also agree he wasn't the most coachable player.
"In October 2012, Reed was among the players who reportedly challenged Harbaugh when he announced the team would practice in full pads during its bye. This is why it makes perfect sense that Reed ended up with Ryan."
Still, fans are likely happy that Reed is getting his first shot at his coaching dream. They'll get a chance to wish him well when the Bills visit M&T Bank Stadium next season (the date is yet to be determined).
And maybe, if we're lucky, we'll get a peek inside his first coaching gig.
"With Ryan already hiring twin brother Rob to be his new assistant head coach earlier this month, you would think HBO would be salivating at the prospects of featuring the Bills in their annual 'Hard Knocks' series this summer," wrote WNST's Luke Jones. "Buffalo is among the teams eligible to be selected this year."
LaQuan's Super Bowl Ring Up For Auction
Former Ravens wide receiver and Baltimore native LaQuan Williams' Super Bowl XLVII ring is up for sale, via Goldin Auctions (hat tip Baltimore Sun).
So far it has four bids and the highest has come in at $18,000. It is available for bidding over the next 16 days.
Williams made it into the NFL as an undrafted rookie for the Ravens in 2011. He played in 11 games during the Super Bowl season mostly on special teams and didn't record any offensive statistics. He was on injured reserve during the playoffs.
Williams was cut by the Ravens in 2013 and was briefly with the New England Patriots but never made the team out of training camp. He was signed and cut by the Ravens two more times in 2014.
This is the fifth Super Bowl XLVII ring put up for auction.
Safety Omar Brown's sold for $43,920, practice squad running back Damien Berry's went for $43,000 and former Ravens running back Jamal Lewis', who received a ring as a gift because of his Ring of Honor status, was sold for $50,820. There was also team receptionist Toni Lekas' ring that sold for $26,730 after her original was lost, then found, in the Chesapeake Bay.
Browns Job Greatest Challenge Of Jackson's Career
The Cleveland Browns have hired another former Ravens assistant for their head-coaching vacancy with Hue Jackson.
Jackson, who was the Ravens quarterbacks coach in 2008-09, will replace Mike Pettine, who was a Ravens' defensive assistant from 2002-08.
Jackson will take on the enormous task of trying to turn the Browns into a winning franchise. Cleveland hasn't made the playoffs since 2002, and hasn't had a winning season since 2006.
"Jackson is clearly undertaking the biggest challenge of his career," wrote CSNMidatlantic.com's Clifton Brown. "Hiring Jackson made sense for the Browns on plenty of levels, due to his offensive acumen and familiarity with the AFC North. However, the Browns were 3-13 in 2015, occupying their usual spot in the basement of the division."
According to multiple reports, one of Jackson's first priorities is to find a franchise quarterback as he is ready to move on from Johnny Manziel. With the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL draft, he'll be in position to do so.
After helping develop a young Joe Flacco and helping raise Andy Dalton's play in Cincinnati, Jackson has the experience to mentor a young rookie.
"Except in Cleveland, coaching stability is a staple of the AFC North, where [Bengals Head Coach Marvin] Lewis (13 seasons), Mike Tomlin of the Steelers (nine seasons), and John Harbaugh (eight seasons) have enjoyed long runs," wrote Brown.
"Can Jackson finally bring success and stability to the Browns, and end their longtime carousel of coaches and turmoil? At least nobody can say that Jackson runs from a challenge."
Phillips' Death A Reminder Of Ozzie's Big Decision
We've all heard the famous story of Ozzie Newsome drafting offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden with the first-ever Ravens draft pick over highly-touted running back Lawrence Phillips.
It wasn't the most popular decision at the time, but Ogden went on to a Hall of Fame career and Phillips played just three NFL seasons.
That story is being repeated under tragic circumstances.
"Sadly, the story is now surfacing again today with the news that Phillips was found dead in his prison cell after a suspected suicide. Phillips was just 40 years old," wrote Zrebiec. "Unfortunately, Phillips' tragic fall has provided an ever-present reminder of Newsome's wise decision-making that day."