Would Ed Reed Like A Statue At M&T Bank Stadium?
If you watched Ed Reed's 50-minute retirement press conference last week, you'd know the guy is all about the team, the team, the team.
A big chunk of those 50 minutes were spent with Reed encouraging others to serve in the community and focus on the youth. Asked for the most memorable moment of his legendary career, Reed talked about a Cary Williams interception. Asked if he should be in the Hall of Fame, Reed didn't make a big fuss.
So it's no surprise that when asked whether he'd like to see himself immortalized at M&T Bank Stadium, Reed immediately and humbly shot down the idea.
"No statue, man, I don't think so," Reed told The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson Friday night at Lardarius Webb's charity softball game. "It's not up to me."
Well, it's a good thing the decision isn't up to Reed because, whether he ultimately gets one or not, he at least deserves a little more consideration than he is giving himself.
There are two statues sitting in the plaza outside M&T Bank Stadium. The first is of great Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas, and the other, added last September, is of future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis.
Reed is a nine-time Pro Bowler, a 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, a Super Bowl champion, and one of the greatest safeties to ever play the game. The "Reeeeeeeeed" chant will echo throughout the stadium forever.
He will be honored with an induction into the Ravens Ring of Honor during halftime of the St. Louis Rams game on Nov. 22.
Reed says he has already experienced enough to make him happy for his lifetime.
"I'm grateful to have played for such great fans," Reed said. "I don't need a statue for all that. I'm blessed I made it this far."
Injury Trend Continues For Ravens At Cornerback
Oh boy, here we go again.
As the Ravens prepare for a new season, an unwanted trend continues.
Head Coach John Harbaugh announced Saturday that the team suffered its first major injury – a broken leg to undrafted rookie Julian Wilson, who is now out for the season. Did I mention Wilson is a cornerback?
The Ravens placed five corners on injured reserve last year, including starter Jimmy Smith and top backup Asa Jackson. Webb, the team's other starting corner, battled through back pains for much of the season. No position was hit harder by injuries.
It was somewhat of a freak accident, as there is no contact during rookie minicamp. Harbaugh said Wilson fell awkwardly while covering a receiver.
The Ravens were looking at Wilson as a potential player to compete for a roster spot to provide depth at the position after the team decided not to sign a veteran during the first waves of free agency and waited until the fourth round to draft a corner.
Wilson was part of an NFL-wide rash of injuries during rookie camp. The Jacksonville Jaguars lost first-round defensive end Dante Fowler for the season after tearing his ACL on Friday. The Denver Broncos then lost third-round tight end Jeff Heuerman (ACL) on Saturday.
The Ravens didn't lose a first or third-round draft pick, but they are still searching for their No. 3 corner. One fan wrote ESPN's Jamison Hensley, asking who has the most promise and expressing doubt in Asa Jackson.
"Not sure you're going to like the other options either. If Asa Jackson doesn't win the nickelback job, the Ravens will have to turn to Rashaan Melvin, rookie Tray Walker, Tramain Jacobs or Anthony Levine," wrote Hensley.
"This is the consequence of not having a targeted cornerback fall to the Ravens in the first three rounds. The outlook at cornerback would be much different if Kevin Johnson or Marcus Peters had slipped to Baltimore. The top cornerbacks left in a picked-over free-agent market are Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers. So, there's no quick fix."
Way-Too-Early 2016 Ravens Mock Draft
It's way too early to start projecting who the Ravens will select in the 2016 NFL Draft.
But it's a fun exercise, and fans show plenty of interest, so ESPN's Todd McShay, despite making it clear that it isn't his favorite assignment, was forced to put together his first mock draft for next year.
McShay chose Auburn outside linebacker and pass rusher Carl Lawson for the Ravens at No. 23 (9-7 projected regular-season record).
"He missed the entire 2014 season due to injury, but he was an elite recruit who flashed as a true freshman with his explosive athleticism and natural power," McShay wrote. "He has the potential to develop into an impact player as an edge rusher."
Looking a year down the road, pass rusher could be a greater need with Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil both on the wrong side of 30. It remains to be seen whether fourth-round selection Za'Darius Smith can develop into a complementary force like Pernell McPhee.
Last year at this time, McShay had the Ravens picking Florida State offensive lineman Cameron Erving. Erving was long gone by the time Baltimore was on the clock, however, after being selected at No. 19 by the Cleveland Browns.
Ray Lewis Gives Wizards Pep Talk Before Playoff Win
Of course Ray Lewis was partly responsible for the Washington Wizards' Game 3 playoff win over the Atlanta Hawks. After opening with a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter, they ultimately needed a buzzer-beater from Paul Pierce to win 103-101.
The timing of Lewis' talk couldn't have come a better time for the Wizards.
They were looking for a way to overcome the news of John Wall's five non-displaced fractures in his left hand/wrist, and Lewis provided an emotional boost. He may have been speaking to other world-class athletes, but they still were in awe as he spoke to them for 20 minutes.
"When he walked in, it was like we were second-graders looking at Michael Jordan walking into the room," Wizards guard Garrett Temple said, per ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk. "We came out after the meeting, during practice, guys were throwing the ball everywhere. [We] had a lot of energy. He definitely moved a lot of people. We understand we got to play for our fallen warrior right now."
Lewis told the Wizards about the year he suffered what was at first considered a season-ending triceps injury. He asked his teammates to just hold on for a few games, and keep the Ravens in the hunt before he could make a miraculous return. He did just that in the playoffs, and Baltimore went on to win Super Bowl XLVII.
"He just told his guys, keep fighting, get me a couple of games and I will try to find my way back," Wall said Friday. "It was a great speech to hear. I think it gave our team some motivation."
Added Temple: "I think it definitely helped us put it in perspective. Sometimes when you have injuries like this, you forget that you are not the first team to go through something like this. People have done it and overcome situations like this."
Reed Thinks Brady Should Be Punished, Harbs Withholds Comments
Harbaugh wasn't interested in commenting on the Ted Wells report and DeflateGate surrounding the New England Patriots.
Asked if he had a reaction to the national news, Harbaugh said, "Not that I would share, but thanks for asking. Our business is right here. We'll take care of our business."
Reed was less inclined to hold back when asked about the situation at Webb's softball game Friday night. In the CSNBaltimore video below, Reed feels that Brady should suffer consequences for his alleged participation in deflating footballs in the AFC championship game.