Reed Doesn't Have Big Desire To Play Ravens
Is this Ed just being Ed, or is he being for real?
Ed Reed's much-anticipated return to Baltimore is in jeopardy as he continues to recover from offseason hip surgery. But the former Raven turned Texan was "very, very close" to playing last week, so one would think that an extra week of rest, plus a burning desire to face his former team, would push him over the top for Week 3.
Only thing is, Reed says he doesn't have any particular desire to play the Ravens.
"Everything that transpired between me and the Ravens is business. You know, I had a great career there," Reed said on The Rich Eisen Podcast. "I never saw myself playing against the Ravens, so (there's) nothing in my heart, my soul, that's urging me to play. … It's nothing that urged me to play this week. You know, I didn't circle this on the calendar."
If that's true, Reed would be different from many NFL players. For example, Elvis Dumervil made it clear that the infamous Broncos fax fiasco would stay with him, saying, "I have a chip on my shoulder … I may have a brick wall now."
Reed wasn't cut like Dumervil, but he wanted a contract extension before his final year in Baltimore and the Ravens reportedly didn’t match the three-year, $15 million contract he got in Houston. The Ravens and Reed separated amicably, but the competitive fire in professional athletes usually drives them to want to beat their former teams.
If Reed doesn't play, his former teammate Ray Lewis believes that would mean his injury is more serious than previously thought.
"I would be (surprised)," Lewis said. "I would be, because then that would tell me that his injury hasn't totally healed yet. Because if he can't go the third week into the regular season – that's what they got him there for – if he can't go, then there's still something really wrong."
Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh also said that he’d be “surprised” if Reed doesn't play and is planning as if he will.
Reed knows this Sunday is a special day for Lewis, who will be inducted into the Ravens Ring of Honor. Reed is happy to be present for the induction, but said, "I always pictured myself on the sidelines watching that happen at halftime or something."
As a veteran, Reed understands that an NFL season is long, and he says he is thinking beyond a Week 3 game, even if it is against the team that drafted him 11 years ago.
"I said it earlier in the offseason that with my rehab, I'm not preparing to play against San Diego or Tennessee or even the Ravens," Reed said.
"It's about being there for the long haul, being there for the team when it really counts, and that's playoffs, the Super Bowl, AFC championship game."
Crazy Kenny Britt @Ravens Retweet
Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt doesn't seem happy after his coaches benched him last week.
What does that* *have to do with the Ravens? Nothing, except Britt retweeted this suggestion from fan @RockyJohnson22:
"@Ravens go get @kennybritt_18 I'm sure we could use him since the titans don't want to."
Britt followed it up with a tweet of his own: "Looks like the Titans pullin that Jared Cook card .. Looking like this the last year ill be sayin #TitanUp .. So lets make it a Great year."
The 2009 first-round draft pick isn't what he used to be, says NFL.com's Chris Wesseling, noting Britt hasn't consistently gained separation from defensive backs since the first of his three knee surgeries in 2011.
"It's been evident for a while that the Titans no longer view Britt as a stable long-term investment, considering his appreciable baggage," Wesseling concluded.
Ihedigbo Quietly Making Difference
Reed is returning this week.
Matt Elam became the starter in the second week of his NFL career.
Recently-signed Michael Huff will now contribute coming off the bench.
That's a lot of safety talk this week, but another safety flying under the radar is making a difference on defense, says The Baltimore Sun's Matt Vensel. That person is James Ihedigbo.
Ihedigbo has played every defensive snap through two weeks (Daryl Smith is the only other player to do so), and Pro Football Focus gave him the highest grade of all Ravens defensive backs in pass coverage. The website notes he's only allowed three catches for 17 yards in coverage.
"He has been a sure tackler and sound in coverage, ensuring that he didn't show up on another player's highlight reel," Vensel wrote. "Ihedigbo is much quieter off the field than his predecessor, Bernard Pollard, and his hits might not make as much noise on the field. But he is a smart player who has played significant snaps for three NFL teams, including the New England Patriots and New York Jets. That experience and his understanding of Dean Pees' defense have been beneficial."
Power Rankings Week 2: Despite Win, Ravens Drop
The Ravens won a divisional game Sunday, but it wasn't inspiring enough to push them up the power rankings. In fact, their stock dropped in a majority of the lists below, and the Bengals are ahead in all but two.
If Baltimore doesn't impress against the Texans, it could find itself ranked among the bottom half of NFL teams.
ProFootballTalk.com, Mike Florio: No. 6 (moved up one spot)
"So far, watching the Ravens play this year has been only slightly less painful than the childbirth quarterback Joe Flacco missed on Sunday."
SportingNews.com, Vinnie Iyer: No. 9 (dropped two spots)
"The champs got blitzed by Peyton Manning and Denver in Week 1, and kind of limped through what should have been a much easier home opener of Cleveland."
The Baltimore Sun, Matt Vensel: No. 9 (dropped one spot)
"It was an uninspiring win, but there were some bright spots, none brighter than the play of the Ravens defense, which bounced back to record five sacks and keep the Browns out of the end zone."
SB Nation, Ryan Van Bibber: No. 11 (dropped one spot)
"The World Champs overcame a 6-0 deficit at the half to beat the Cleveland Browns. So there's that."
ESPN, Panel of six voters: No. 11 (no movement)
"Joe Flacco is 2-for-13 on throws deeper than 20 yards downfield this season with twice as many off-target throws (eight) as he had in last year's entire playoff run."
Fox Sports, Brian Billick: No. 12 (dropped three spots)
"Joe Flacco missed the birth of his second child for that?"
NFL.com, Elliot Harrison: No. 12 (moved up one spot)
"Baltimore recovers, albeit in a tough, defensive AFC North battle. There was just one turnover and eight total penalties committed by the Browns and the Ravens in Baltimore's 14-6 win -- and that might be the best way for John Harbaugh's group to compete. Ray Rice is hurting, and the Ravens lack a big-time threat at wide receiver/tight end. They couldn't keep up during the season-opening track meet in Denver. The veterans on defense need to stay healthy, while the younger guys, like Matt Elam and Josh Bynes, have to play smart. Meanwhile, if backup running back Bernard Pierce can provide the kind of pop he did late in 2012, Baltimore should be OK."
MMQB.com, Peter King: No. 14 (no movement)
"The Ravens' offense and New England's have much in common. Baltimore's first-half possessions ended in a missed field goal, punt, punt, punt, punt and missed field goal. It was a struggle the whole way against Cleveland."
CBSSports.com, Pete Prisco: No. 15 (dropped two spots)
"They just don't seem to have any real playmakers on offense outside of Torrey Smith and Ray Rice. Who can emerge? Marlon Brown?"
- A league source told Mike Florio that there is video evidence to prove running back Ray Rice spit on Browns defensive lineman Phil Taylor and that it will be sent to the league office for review. [ProFootballTalk.com]
- "Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith significantly upgraded his play during the second game of the season," wrote Aaron Wilson. [The Baltimore Sun]
- Texans left tackle Duane Brown could miss Sunday's matchup with turf toe, which could mean another big day for the Ravens' pass rushers. [CSNHouston.com]
- @ravens: The top-rated Raven from Week 2 according to @PFF was Elvis Dumervil. He had 1 sack, 3 QB hits and 2 QB hurries. Great game for Doooooom. [Twitter]
- @gdowning14: Joe Flacco has a QB rating of 135.4 on passes thrown to rookie WR Marlon Brown. (via @PFF) [Twitter]
- @ryanmink: My neighbor took the Steelers magnet off the back of his truck. Victory! [Twitter]
- The Ravens like the depth of their defensive front seven [CSNBaltimore.com]
- Wow! Just … wow. Check out this "toes coming out your ears" touchdown dance from a seriously passionate Ravens fan. It starts at 1:18. Enjoy! [YouTube]